Obesity in America Part 5, Artificial Sweetener are Toxins!

Aquaponics USA/World
August 2015 Newsletter
Table of Contents
Artificial Sweeteners are Toxic Chemical Brews
What is Aspartame?
Enter Monsanto!
The Confusing World of Artificial Sweeteners!
Do Artificial Sweeteners really aide in weight loss?
There’s Sill More To Share. Come back in September for Part 6 of Obesity in America.
What’s Happening in our Greenhouse?
Algae growing in the Trough!
Tilapia eat Algae!
Go to our Education Tab to take our Aquaponics 101 Course for FREE!

Follow Grace on Instagram at Aquaponics_Grace
If you’re on a desktop or laptop, just click thisInstagram Link to see what she’s uploaded today!
If you’re mobile, go to Instagram and Follow: Aquaponics_Grace
At this point, the word is out, Grace is a Food Activist who is doing her best to create more Food Activists because if we sit around and do nothing, we’ll all die sooner and lead lives of sickness with Big Pharma’s pills flooding our cupboards.

A Word from our Editor, Grace Sylke
The extensiveness of this Series on Obesity in America is way beyond what we imagined when we decided to tackle this topic; and it looks like it’s going to go on for a full half year as Part 6 will be coming in September.
What we’re realizing as we research each of these topics is when it comes to food politics, we are not the land of the Free.
We Americans have been subjugated to the interests and profits of Big Food; and a Food Revolution is what is being called for.

Get Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters from our December 2014 Edition. This is also the Newsletter where Obesity in America, Part 1 Starts!
Here they are all in one place. Our fist year of Newsletters full of incredible information about Aquaponics and our Food System.

Here’s our July Newsletter in case you missed it. It’s Part 4 of the Obesity in America Series.
Don’t miss this important information about GMO’s. How they’ve invaded our Food System, why they’re bad for us and what we can do to fight against the House of Representatives who just voted to Ban States from demanding labels on GMO’s.

Here’s our June Newsletter, in case you missed it. It’s Part 3 of the Obesity in America Series.
Don’t miss this important information about how our Fast Food Nation is ruining our health and our longevity. Read about the history of Fast Food, where it’s been and where it’s going.

Here’s our May Newsletter, in case you missed it. It’s Part 2 of the Obesity in America Series.
Don’t miss this important information about High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS is in just about everything that’s processed and packaged. Beware, it’s as bad as alcohol for our livers.

Here’s our April Newsletter in case you missed it.
We declared April to be Food Revolution Month in honor of theAnnual Food Revolution Summitsponsored by John and Ocean Robbins. Then we gave the history of Earth Day in honor of that day, April 22, 2015.

Here’s our March Newsletter in case you missed it.
To honor National Nutrition Month, we look at all of the Food related Programs that we are running in the U.S. including who these programs serve and the costs of those services.

Here’s ourFebruary Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter is all about our enclosed growing and fish raising areas, which include our Growroom and our Fishroom featuring our latest evolution in Seed Germination, the SIT (Seed Incubation Table).

Here’s ourJanuary Newsletter in case you missed it.
This Newsletter features our latest change in the Greenhouse, and it’s a real innovation. Our retired Aerospace Engineer turned Aquaponics System Designer, Oliver Duffy, just keeps improving his designs. See what he’s up to now in this informative Newsletter.

Be sure to get the Ap for theAquaponics Digest Magazine!

Catch all 4 Parts of Grace’s Series on the FOOD REVOLUTION! To read her Food Revolution Series in Newsletter format, click on theDecember Newsletter and it will guide you to Food Revolution Parts 1-4.

The Aquaponics Digest Magazinefeatures an advanced digital magazine and publishing and marketing platform for the 21st century; and it’s just getting started.

Click on the Link to learn how/where to get the Ap for iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices.

Aquaponics Digest Magazine is a must read for any and all Aquaponics enthusiasts.
It features articles by the field’s leaders like:
Sylvia Bernstein
Aaron Woolf
Glenn Martinez
and our own
Grace Sylke

Check Out our TV Channel
We have several Videos on How To Do Aquaponics including two on installing our Food Forever Growing Systems in two schools in Tucson, AZ.

Aquaponics 101 is here and people are loving it! Get it Free on our Aquaponics USA site under the Education Menu Bar.
This is some of the best information you’ll ever find about Aquaponics and How to build an Aquaponics System. It’s on our website complete with Quizzes and a Certificate of Completion.

Be Sure to Visit our Pinterest Wall
It’s full of Original Art by our Editor, Grace Sylke, including the new Pixton Cartoons designs she created for this Newsletter.

Watch for the new Food Documentary THE NEED TO GROW
It’s still in production but coming out soon. It features famous food activists like we discuss in this Newsletter including Jeffery Smith and Vandana Shiva and we’re in it. Click the Link to Check out the Trailer.

We now haveQUICK KITS!

And they’re all about saving money on one of our Food Forever Growing Systems and saving money to get it shipped!

“You Build A Little,
We Ship A Lot For Less!”
Obesity in America Part 5
What’s in those Zero and Low Calorie Sweeteners? 
Dear Blog Subscribers and Readers: This is a reprint of our August Newsletter. If you would like to receive our Newsletter directly in your email box, just sign up on either our Aquaponics USA or Aquaponics World, LLC Home page.
Our original plan was to talk about Aspertame, the substitute sugar sweetener that’s been in the American food market since 1981; but we soon realized that we couldn’t just talk about Aspertame without talking about the nine other substitute sugar food additives including Acesulfame K, Advantame, Neotame, Saccharin, Stevia and Sucralose and the new sugar alcohols like Mannitol, Sorbitol and Xylitol that are all flooding the market with their uniquely named brands of sweeteners.
If you’re not completely tongue tied after reading the above paragraph, you’re an advanced scientist because those words that describe artificial sugars are scary and confusing. Not surprising when you realize that many of them are not food at all. They are chemical compounds. The word is still out until Part 6 regarding those new sugar alcohols like Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol and Stevia, which is a plant extract.
Sometimes, we think these scientific food words are made to be mind-boggling just so we all give up trying to figure them out, just eat the franken food and shut up. Well, we’re not eating it and we’re not shutting up. In fact, we’re yelling the truth about these artificial sugars from the roof tops. (If you’re not interested in knowing what’s in them, scroll down to the last 3 sections of this Newsletter, which are all about our Aquaponics Greenhouse)
The substitute sugar market is like the wild, wild west during the gold rush with new products continuously riding in on the next promise to be the healthiest no calorie or low calorie answer to the American people’s addiction to sweetness.
This Newsletter takes a dive into the underworld of FDA approved sugar substitutes and, unfortunately, we’re going to have to go deep into the weeds of chemical compounds and lethal combinations of chemical compounds so please bear with us as this could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Let’s start with an early sugar substitute, one that’s been in our food since 1981–Aspertame.


These are just a few of the products that contain Aspertame. So let’s take a look at what this food additive really is, who created it, who has owned it and branded it, who owns it now and who convinced the FDA to approve it as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe).

Let’s start with the origins of Aspertame. Where did this food additive come from? Aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965 by James M. Schlatter. Mr. Schlatter was a chemist who was working for G.D. Searle & Company. He created Aspartame as an intermediate step in his goal of coming up with an anti-ulcer drug. He accidentally discovered its sweet taste when he licked his finger to pick up a piece of paper, which had become contaminated with it. (Information taken from Wikipedia Aspartame page)
The Long Convoluted Road Toward the Approval of Aspertame went like this:
The FDA got into the picture in 1975 when a task force team reported “serious deficiencies in Searle’s operations and practices”. Then In 1979, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) turned the FDA decision around and “concluded, since many problems with the Aspartame studies were minor and did not affect the conclusions, the studies could be used to assess Aspartame’s safety”. In 1980, the FDA convened a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) consisting of independent advisors charged with examining the purported relationship between Aspartame and brain cancer. The PBOI concluded Aspartame does not cause brain damage, but it recommended against approving Aspartame at that time, citing unanswered questions about cancer in laboratory rats.” (Quotes taken from Wikipedia page on Aspertame.)
G.D. Searle was a wholly owned trademark of Pfizer, which is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. Searle started manufacturing Aspertame for other purposes. They named it and the company manufacturing it NutraSweet. For 16 years the FDA refused to approve it as a food additive.
Then came the Political Pandering:
Donald Rumsfeld served as CEO, and then as President, of Searle between 1977 and 1985. In November of 1980, President Ronald Reagan was elected into office and Donald Rumsfeld saw his opportunity to change the FDA vote against Aspartame that was now branded as NutraSweet. “One week before the inauguration, he addressed a meeting of the Searle sales force. According to one of those present, he declared that he would ‘call in his markers’ and ‘no matter what,’ he would see to it that aspartame ‘would be approved’ by the end of 1981.” Rumsfeld kept his word as he had lots of friends within the Reagan administration; but “most important of all, his right hand man at Searle, was on Reagan’s transition team.” In that same month, November of 1980, Jere Goyan, the FDA Commissioner who had not approved Aspertame, was fired and “told to write a letter of resignation and to vacate his office on the day of the inauguration”. (Quotes taken from the Book, Rumsfeld: His Rish, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy)
“On January 21, 1981, one day after Reagan had taken the oath of office, Searle petitioned to have an inquiry panel’s [the PBOI] verdict overruled.” By April of 1981, the new administration had chosen its own FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes. “The FDA set up a Board of Inquiry of the best scientists they had to offer who said Aspartame is not safe and causes brain tumorsand the petition for approval is hereby revoked. The new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, over-ruled that Board of Inquiry and then went to work for the PR Agency of the manufacturer [of Aspartame], Burson-Marstellar, rumored at $1000 a day, and has refused to talk to the press ever since.” (Quote taken from News With Views Online website article entitled “Donald Rumsfeld and Aspartame”)
The way was cleared for Aspartame to be put into dry products, and a new brand, Equal, launched in the United States. Equal quickly became accepted in the U.S. market as a way to enjoy sweetened beverages without the calories of sugar”. (Quote taken from the Equal website page About Equal)
The Legal Battles Begin:

“October 15, 1982– The FDA announces that Searle has filed a petition that Aspartame be approved as a sweetener in carbonated beverages and other liquids.

July 1, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) urges the FDA to delay approval of Aspartame for carbonated beverages pending further testing becauseAspartame is very unstable in liquid formWhen liquid Aspartame is stored in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both of which are known toxins.

July 8, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association drafts an objection to the final ruling which permits the use of Aspartame in carbonated beverages and syrup bases and requests a hearing on the objections. The association says that Searle has not provided responsible certainty that Aspartame and its’ degradation products are safe for use in soft drinks.

August 8, 1983– Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte, Arizona State University’s Director of Food Science and Nutritional Laboratories, file suit with the FDA objecting to Aspartame’s approval based on unresolved safety issues.

September, 1983– FDA Commissioner Hayes resigns under a cloud of controversy about his taking unauthorized rides aboard a General Foods jet. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet) Burson-Marsteller, Searle’s public relations firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet’s major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior scientific consultant.

Fall 1983– The first carbonated beverages containing Aspartame are sold for public consumption. [“This tripled the $200 million Aspartame worldwide market.”] (Quote taken from the Book, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy)

November 1984–Center for Disease Control (CDC) “Evaluation of consumer complaints related to Aspartame use.” (summary by B. Mullarkey)

November 3, 1987– U.S. hearing, ‘NutraSweet: Health and Safety Concerns,’ Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Senator Howard Metzenbaum, chairman.”(Quote taken from Rense Online website article entitled,“How Aspartame Became Legal-The Timeline”)

Obviously, nothing happened as a result of that November hearing on Aspartame; and by 1996, “it was approved for use in all foods and beverages, including products such as syrups, salad dressings and certain snack foods where prior approval had not yet been obtained”. (Quote taken from article entitled“The History of Artificial Sweeteners” on themonsanto.unveiled.info website)

There was one last Herculean effort to stop Aspartame in at least one state–Arizona where “Dr. Woodrow Monte, a food scientist at Arizona State University, who argued that Aspartame in diet sodas exposed to hot conditions, such as any Arizona summer’s day, would degrade into methyl alcohol, a toxic substance capable of inducing everything from dizziness to seizures and amnesia.

Searle family checkbooks again pressed into service delivering campaign contributions to relevant Arizona politicians. In no time at all, a law glided through the [U.S.] legislature forbidding any state restrictions of a federally approved food additive. Displaying a fine sense of irony, the measure’s sponsors labeled it as a toxic waste bill.” (Quote taken from the Book, Rumsfeld: His Rish, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy)

We can’t help but see the similarities between what happened in our House of Representatives just last month when they banned States from demanding GMO’s be labeled; and it was clear that representatives who sponsored and pushed that Bill ironically called the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” were the very ones who received the most in campaign donations from Big Food. We wrote about this travesty in our July Newsletter. But this is not the end of the Rumsfeld/Searle Aspartame story.

Rumsfeld had one more big move to make once he got Aspartame freely on the market in all categories possible. He needed to sell the entire Searle company; and you’ll never guess who bought it.


From 1985 to 1999, Monsanto owned the chemical sweeteners branded as NutraSweet and Equal after purchasing G.D. Searle, LLC. And now it could take artificial sweeteners to a whole new level because it had cornered the market on two of the chemicals in the most popular artificial sweeteners out there, Saccharin and Aspartame.
The Monsanto Company was originally formed to produce the artificial sweetener, Saccharin? On November 30, 1901 with a mere $5,000, “John Francisco Queeny founded Monsanto Chemical Works in St. Louis, Missouri with the goal of producing Saccharin for Coca-Cola”. (Quote taken from the GMO-Awareness website article entitled “Monsanto’s Dirty Dozen”)
Here is the Saccharin story:
Saccharin was the first artificial sweetener discovered. Just like Aspartame, “it was accidentally found in 1879 by a chemistry research assistant, Constantine Fahlberg.  Fahlberg was working on new food preservatives when he accidentally spilled some of the compound he had synthesized on his hands.  When he went back home that night and ate his dinner, he noticed the intense sweetness of the compound.  He named the compound Saccharin after the Latin, Saccharum, which means sugar.
He went back to the lab, tracing his steps until he was able to synthesize Saccharin in bulk.” In 1884, Fahlberg got his U.S. Patent to manufacture Saccharin. In that era, U.S. Patents were granted for 17 years with no extentions, so exactly to the year that Fahlberg’s Saccharin Patent expired, Monsanto was born to produce Saccharin for the Coca-Cola company. (Quote taken from article entitled “The History of Artificial Sweeteners” on the monsanto.unveiled.info website. Information regarding Patents taken from the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Term Calculator page)
Except for filling orders for the Coca Cola company, the newly formed Monsanto company had to wait patiently until World War I broke out  in July of 1914 before Saccharin could take the world by storm. The war started the rationing of sugar so it could be sent to the troops. “When World War II hit, sugar rationing started again, leading to another significant increase in Saccharin use and a proliferation of products that used the sweetener.  Saccharin use continued upward during World War II and afterwards.” (Quote taken from article entitled “The History of Artificial Sweeteners” on themonsanto.unveiled.info website)
Then Comes The Attempts to Ban Saccharin, the Politics and the Love/Hate Relationship with this Artificial Sweetener.
“Starting in 1907, the USFDA began investigating Saccharin as a direct result of the Pure Food and Drug ActHarvey Wiley, then the director of the bureau of chemistry for the USFDA, viewed it as an illegal substitution of a valuable ingredient (sugar) by a less valuable ingredient. In a clash that had career consequences, Wiley told President Theodore Roosevelt, ‘Everyone who ate that sweet corn was deceived. He thought he was eating sugar, when in point of fact he was eating a coal tar product totally devoid of food value and extremely injurious to health.’ But Roosevelt himself was a consumer of Saccharin, and, in a heated exchange, Roosevelt angrily answered Wiley by stating, ‘Anybody who says Saccharin is injurious to health is an idiot.’ The episode proved the undoing of Wiley’s career.”  (Quote taken from Wikipedia page on Saccharin)
“In 1911, the Food Inspection Decision 135 stated that foods containing Saccharin were adulterated. However, in 1912, Food Inspection Decision 142 stated that Saccharin was not harmful.” During this one-year timeline, the U.S. Food Inspectors appeared to be quite schizophrenic when it came to Saccharin. (Quote taken from Wikipedia page on Saccharin)
In 1945, the Cumberland Packing company was born and started it’s company producing tea bags. By the early 60’s, “using modified tea bagging equipment, the company was the first to package sugar in packets, breaking tradition with less-sanitary sugar bowls that were common on restaurant tabletops at the time.” The patent for Saccharin had long ago expired, so Cumberland was free to invent one of the most popular artificial Saccharin sweeteners on the market today, Sweet’N Low, which they packaged in this new and convenient way. (Quote taken from Wikipedia page on Cumberland Packing Corporation)
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that studies with lab rats suggested that Saccharin could cause bladder cancer; and the FDA made a move to limit its use. At the time, Saccharin was the only artificial sweetener on the market, so there was a backlash from the consumers who were already hooked.
“Its use was banned in Canada in 1977 after the Canadian Health Protection Branch Study was completed on Charles River Sprague-Dawley rat specimens concluding lymphoma in the blood cells. (Quote taken from Wikipedia page on Saccharin Study and Labeling Act of 1977)
The FDA also considered banning Saccharin in 1977 based on this animal research.  However, Congress placed a moratorium on the ban to allow for more research on it’s safety. This moratorium was extended seven times due to continued consumer demand.” Instead of a ban on Saccharin, the Saccharin Study and Labeling Act of 1977 was passed causing Saccharin to carry a warning label.
The FDA withdrew the ban in 1991, but the moratorium stayed in effect until the year 2002. Products with Saccharin carried the warning label that said it had caused cancer in laboratory animals until that label was removed in 2000. (Quote taken from article entitled “The History of Artificial Sweeteners” on the monsanto.unveiled.info website)
In 2001, Saccharin was delisted from the California list of chemicals known to cause cancer. It originally got on that list as a result of Proposition 65, which was passed in California in November of 1986 with the aim of listing all carcinogens.
Back to Monsanto and Aspartame:
In 2000, Monsanto sold its chemical artificial sweetener company called NutraSweet. By this time, NutraSweet’s patents on Aspartame were about to expire so the NutraSweet company had aquired a wide range of patents related to a new chemical they developed which mimics Aspartame but doesn’t require the pesky label that must be placed on all Aspartame products (to be explained below). This new chemical is called Neotame (neo, as in new). It’s the new Aspartame.
Monsanto sold their NutraSweet company to a private equity firm called J.W. Childs Equity Partners, which also owns the Sunny Delight Beverages company, Fitness Quest, Brookstone, Mattress Firm and several other companies. (Information taken from the Natural News website article entitled “Equity company that helped buy NutraSweet from Monsanto also funds Sunny Delight, Fitness Quest and Mattress Firm”)
Then J.W. Childs formed a new company called Merisant from the Monsanto Company‘s NutraSweet tabletop sweetener business. It’s amazing how convoluted the trail became.

Presently Merisant is straddling two worlds of the sweetener business–sweeteners accepted as healthy like stevia (more about stevia in Part 6) derived products and Aspartame and Neotame sweeteners that are not considered to be healthy. In 2009, Merisant Worldwide filed for bankruptcy to restructure and invest in its new stevia-derived sweetener, PureVia, which emerged the following year. In addition to PureVia, Equal and Canderel, Merisant markets its products under 18 other brands in over 90 countries. Canderel is the brand name of an Aspartame sweetener that was first marketed in France in 1979.

It could be said that our worldwide sugar addiction is what created Monsanto in the first place, fueled its growth and launched it into becoming the monster it is today. If we look at it that way, we, the consumer who is so in need of that sugar taste and rush are somewhat culpable in our own demise.

The Confusing World of Artificial Sweeteners!

The demand for no calorie and low calorie sweeteners is huge and the market is now full of products to meet that demand. The aim of this segment is to inform you of what’s in the more popular brands and which ones to avoid like the plague. So once again let’s start with the artificial sweeteners that contain Aspartame.
The artificial sweetener products containing Aspartame are NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure and Canderel. These are only the products which require you to administer the poison yourself. You put them into your coffee, tea or other drinks you want to sweeten. Aspartame is also put in lots of off-the-shelf products for you as you can see from the picture above with diet sodas, cookies, candy, yogurt and many other processed packaged goods. Deep Roots is a website that lists 50 plus Aspartame containing products to avoid. So why is Aspartame bad for you?
Known in Europe by the E number, E951, Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. It is an Excitotoxin. Excitotoxins like aspartic acid literally stimulate neurons to death causing brain damage of varying degrees. These are chemicals! There’s no food here. Was the human body made to ingest toxic chemicals? Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Big Food loves it because it costs less to sweeten their products due to the intensity of the sweetness. Here’s one description of how it’s made:
“The deadly artificial sweetener, NutraSweet, is produced by feeding fossil fuel oil to ecoli that are genetically modified to defecate Aspartame as feces.” (Quote taken from The Gaia Reports article entitled “How Sweet It is! Monsanto Sells Their Aspartame Business to Pfizer”)
And here’s another mind blowing quote about Aspartame from Dr. Mercola: “Aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!” We’re speechless. (Quote taken from Childhood Obesity News website article entitled “The Unnatural Sweetener”)
The list of possible side effects from ingesting Aspartame is too long to include here. Just click this link to read it for yourself. Or read the book by Dr. Russell L. Blaylock called “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills”. Dr. Blaylock says this in his introduction: “Suppose evidence was presented to you strongly suggesting that the artificial sweetener in your diet soda may cause brain tumors to develop, and that the number of brain tumors reported since the wide-spread introduction of this artificial sweetener has risen dramatically?” (Quote taken from Dr. Blaylock’s book, “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills”)
So why does Aspartame have to be labeled? We’ll make this as brief as possible. Some people are born with a condition called PKU. “The absence or deficiency of certain enzymes responsible for processing the essential amino acid phenylalanine is the primary characteristic of PKU in human beings. With normal enzymatic activity, the body converts phenylalanine to the amino acid tyrosine, which is then utilized by the body. However, when the phenylalanine hydroxylase enzyme is absent or deficient, phenylalanine abnormally accumulates in the blood and becomes toxic, typically lethal, to brain tissue.”
People with this condition are subject to mental retardation if their diets aren’t carefully monitored and they are called “Phenylketonurics”. Treatment for PKU consists of a carefully controlled and restricted diet started during the first days or weeks of life. One of the main things to avoid is Aspartame because it contains phenylalanine, which is exactly what PKU people need to avoid. That’s why diet soda labels carry the long, difficult to read warning: Phenylketonurics-contains phenylalanine. If you see this warning on a label, you know Aspartame is in the product. (Quotes taken from the Dr. Janet Starr Hull’s website article entitled “Warning Phenylketonurics: Contains L-Phenylalanine”)
Not true with the new Aspartame, called Neotame and its brand Newtame. Known in Europe by the E number, E961, Neotame is considered even more toxic than its Aspartame brother. Neotame is 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar and was based on the Aspartame formula. “Neotame is essentially aspartame plus 3,3-dimethylbutyraldehyde–the presence of which ends up reducing the production of phenylalanine, which allegedly makes it safe for those suffering from phenylketonuria (PKU). That means Neotame does not have the identifying warning label on it. That’s right. Neotame is NOT labeled and “the FDA has decided that the public shouldn’t be informed when Neotame is included in any product”. (Quote taken from Gaia Health Online article entitled “Neotame, New Neurotoxic Sweetener”)

Right now it looks like Neotame is being added in many processed and packaged products just like Aspartame but without a label. It’s also being used in animal feed to replace the more expensive molasses. That animal food product is called Sweetos. It seems that the only way to avoid Neotame is to avoid processed foods altogether. The Merisant company, which now owns NutraSweet has ear marked India as the first country that will be honored with Neotame in self administering poison packets.

“Unfortunately, it may actually be an even more potent and dangerous neurotoxin, immunotoxin and excitotoxin than aspartame. Neotame is like Aspartame on steroids, so while you want to avoid both, Neotame appears to be more toxic. One way of avoiding all artificial sweeteners is to purchase foods bearing the USDA 100% Organic label.” (Quotes taken from Dr. Mercola’s website article entitled “Neotame: Is This More-Dangerous-than-Aspartame Sweetener Hiding in Your Food?”)

Saccharin is also called Ortho-sulfobenzoic Acid Imide. There’s that word, “acid” again. Saccharin is about 200-700 times sweeter then sugar and has a slightly bitter and metallic after taste. It’s dominant artificial sweetener brand that is self administered is Sweet’N Low. There have been over 500 Billion Sweet’N Low packets produced. “In toxicological studies, Saccharin has been shown to induce a greater incidence of bladder cancer in rats that have been fed the sweetener at high levels.” These studies caused Canada to ban its use in 1977. (Quote taken from the Encyclopaedia Britannica website page on “Saccharin, Chemical Compound”) Oh, and YES–it’s a Chemical Compound, not a food.

Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve presented so far:

ASPARTAME: Watch for the warning to Phenylketonurics (PKU) people to identify its presence in products like: NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure and Canderel and lots of other processed, packaged foods.

NEOTAME: So far Newtame is the brand to avoid but more are coming.

SACCHARIN: An entire country, Canada, banned it after studies on rats concluded there was lymphoma in the blood cells. Don’t use Sweet’N Low.


These dangerous products are being marketed as aides to weight loss; but it very well may be that they are actually fueling the Obesity Epidemic!
A group of scientists who decided to test this assumption [that AS (Artificial Sweeteners) assist in weight loss] assessed long-term weight change among participants in the San Antonio Heart Study who reported using these products, compared with those who did not; and they came up with a startling conclusion: “We observed a classic, positive dose-response relationship between AS beverage consumption and long-term weight gain.” The last two words in that statement are “weight gain” NOT “weight loss”. These researchers went on to say:
“These results, together with findings of increased lymphoma and leukemia in young rodents exposed to Aspartame, should be carefully considered when policy recommendations to deter the development of obesity in children and adolescents are being formulated-particularly those recommending increased AS consumption.” (Quotes taken from the World Natural Health Organization website article entitled “Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-term Weight Gain”)


In July and August, we’ve covered two of the culprits in this cartoon depiction of Big Food’s underground cesspool of poisons–Aspartame and GMO’s. But we’re still working on the artificial sweetener group (Aspartame being just one of them), and there are several to still look at including Sucralose, Acsulfame-K, Advantame and any others that show their ugly heads.
Those are the bad guys; but there’s an emerging market of good sweeteners, too, like the stevia-derived products and then there’s the new sugar alcohols (we’ll let you know if they’re good or bad).
And we haven’t addressed MSG yet either, so it looks like there’s going to be a Part 6 of this Series on Obesity in America.
In closing this section of the Newsletter, let’s just look back to our July Newsletter, which was all about GMO’s. Suddenly it makes sense that Monsanto actually believes they can get away with not labeling GMO’s in the U.S. They’ve gotten away with it before. They got Aspartame approved in all products in spite of the push back for so many years. They got Neotame approveded without any labels. Through revolving door policies, they have positioned themselves within the FDA in such a way that they appear to be and feel impervious to the needs, wants and health concerns of the people of America. Right now in our country, we, the people, are Big Food’s subjects. There is no Food Freedom in the U.S; and that’s a really sad state of affairs. But help is coming!
Watch for this up-coming List of all the great angelic ones who have created websites that are out there to help us figure this all out and get one step ahead of the Sharks in our Food System.

So What’s Growing in our Greenhouse?

Here comes another Lettuce Wall! This one is demonstrating staged growing. Notice the middle ducts have younger plants than the first ducts. That’s because they were placed in their ducts about 3 weeks after the first and last group. This is going to help us with the harvesting.

In the past, we planted everything at the same time so everything needed to be harvested all at once. We found it difficult to use all those vegetables that came out at the same time. Now, we’re going to have an easier time dealing with the big question of “What are we going to do with all this lettuce?”

What’s the Lettuce Wall draining into?

In building our 80º Vertical System, we first built this trough, which serves to catch and recirculate all the water flowing through the ducts that make up the lettuce wall. But recently, we ran into a big algae problem as algae started accumulating in the trough.

We originally decided to keep all of our fish in their tanks in the fishroom; but once this algae problem bloomed, we needed to rethink that decision.

Tilapia are great pond (in our case, Trough) cleaners!

We sell live Fingerling Tilapia on our website; and some people buy them for the expressed purpose of cleaning their ponds that are overgrown with algae. So to solve our algae problem, we went fishing in one of our 120 gallon tanks and pulled up 3 of these guys to place in the trough in the Greenhouse.

It was amazing how quickly they did that trough cleaning job. No more algae in the trough. So every now and then, we’ll be placing a threesome of Tilapia in our Greenhouse trough and give them a nice change of scenery.

Don’t miss our Aquaponics 101 Tutorial!

You’ll learn everything you need to know about how to build or purchase and run a Deep Media Grow Bed Aquaponics System. This is a 7 Part Tutorial complete with Quizzes and a Completion Certificate. And it’s FREE. Just pull down the Education Tab on our Home Page. This Course offers some of the most detailed and accurate information available about Aquaponics on the internet.

It really is time for a FOOD REVOLUTION in America; and learning Aquaponics is a big part of taking a stand for REAL Food. Be sure to check out our Aquaponics USA website and access our 7-Part Tutorial on Aquaponics complete with Quizzes and a Certificate of Completion all for Free if you really want to learn how to be an Aquaponics farmer.

Please alert your colleagues, friends and family who need to become aware of the dangers of toxic Artificial Sweeteners. We can’t make the changes we need to make without first understanding why the changes are so important. We can save lives with this information.
Thank You for following our Blog. We so appreciate your interest in our two cutting edge Aquaponics Companies, Aquaponics USA and Aquaponics Wold, LLC. We’ll continue to bring you important information about Aquaponics, our Food and our Food System, which, right now, is broken and has turned us into subjects of Big Food.

Please help us turn the tables around so we can declare our Food Freedom again and become the healthiest country on the planet instead of the sickest.


Aquaponics USA/World

Obesity in America Part 4, All About GMO’s

Aquaponics USA/World
July 2015 Newsletter
Table of Contents
What Are GMO’s?
What is Monsanto?
The US House passed the DARK Act!
There are Traitors to our Food Freedom in the House!
How did our Food System get over taken?
What’s the Solution?
The relationship between Obesity and GMO’s

A Word from our Editor, Grace Sylke
Last Month, June 2015, I talked about how we bit off a big chunk when we started this Series on Obesity in America.
Well, we’re still chewing on it. This July Newsletter, which focuses exclusively on GMO’s, is a humdinger; and it took so long to write that we’re barely making our July deadline, which is this last day of the month.
This one was definitely worth the wait. Stay tuned, there’s a Part 5 on Obesity in America coming in August, hopefully not on the last day.

Get Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters from ourDecember 2014 Edition. This is also the Newsletter where Obesity in America, Part 1 Starts.
Here they are all in one place. Our first year of Newsletters full of incredible information about Aquaponics and our Food System.

Here’s our June Newsletter, in case you missed it. It’s Part 3 of the Obesity in America Series.
Don’t miss this important information about how our Fast Food Nation is ruining our health and our longevity. Read about the history of Fast Food, where it’s been and where it’s going.

Here’s our May Newsletter in case you missed it. It’s Part 2 of the Obesity in America Series.
Don’t miss this important information about High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS is in just about everything that’s processed and packaged. Beware, it’s as bad as alcohol for our livers.

Here’s our April Newsletter in case you missed it.
We declared April to be Food Revolution Month in honor of theAnnual Food Revolution Summitsponsored by John and Ocean Robbins. Then we gave the history of Earth Day in Honor of that day, April 22, 2015.

Here’s ourMarch Newsletter in case you missed it.
To honor National Nutrition Month, we look at all of the Food related Programs that we are running in the U.S. including who these programs serve and the costs of those services.

Here’s ourFebruary Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter is all about our enclosed growing and fish raising areas, which include our Growroom and our Fishroom featuring our latest evolution in Seed Germination, the SIT (Seed Incubation Table).

Here’s ourJanuary Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter features our latest change in the Greenhouse, and it’s a real innovation. Our retired aerospace engineer turned Aquaponics System Designer, Oliver Duffy, just keeps improving his designs. See what he’s up to now in this informative Newsletter.

Be sure to get the Ap for theAquaponics Digest Magazine!
Catch all 4 Parts of Grace’s Series on the FOOD REVOLUTION
The Aquaponics Digest Magazinefeatures an advanced digital magazine and publishing and marketing platform for the 21st century; and it’s just getting started.
Click on the Link to learn how/where to get the Ap for iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices.
Aquaponics Digest Magazine is a must read for any and all Aquaponics enthusiasts.
It features articles by the field’s leaders like:
Sylvia Bernstein
Aaron Woolf
Glenn Martinez
and our own
Grace Sylke

Check Out our
We have several Videos on How To Do Aquaponics including two on installing our Food Forever Growing Systems in two schools in Tucson, AZ.

Aquaponics 101 is here and people are loving it! Get it Free on ourAquaponics USAsite.
This is some of the best information you’ll ever find about Aquaponics and How to build an Aquaponics System. It’s on our website complete with Quizzes and a Certificate of Completion.

Be Sure to Visit our Pinterest Wall
It’s full of Original Art by our Editor, Grace Sylke, including the new Pixton Cartoon designs she created for this Newsletter.

Watch for the new Food Documentary,
It’s still in production but coming out soon. It features famous food activists like we discuss in this Newsletter including Jeffery Smith and Vandana Shiva andwe’re in it. Click theLink to Check out the Trailer.

We now have
And they’re all about saving money on one of our Food Forever Growing Systems and saving money to get it shipped!
“You Build A Little,
We Ship A Lot For Less!”
Obesity in America Part 4
GMO’s, The Gift That Big Food Keeps On Giving (While We Keep Getting Bigger)
Dear Blog Subscriber and Reader: This is a reprint of our July Newsletter. If you’d like to receive our Newsletters in your email box, just sign up on our Aquaponics USA or Aquaponics World, LLC website.
Big Food has been putting toxins into their food products for years. The addition of MSG was motivated by Big Food’s perceived need to enhance the flavor of their products. Aspertame was birthed during the fat and sugar substitute food movement days; and the mistaken belief that GMO’s could feed the world brought that scourge onto the planet.
Our original idea for this Newsletter was to give you a detailed look into these three food horrors including Aspertame, MSG and GMO’s describing why they are harmful to the body, who created them and where they’re hiding in the food chain. But the GMO section was too big to share the stage so there’s going to be an Obesity in America Part 5 covering Aspertame and MSG coming in August.
NOTE: Much of the information about Monsanto and GMO’s that you see here has been reprinted from our Aquaponics World Page called “Aquaganic”.


What are GMO’s and from where do they come? 

The GMO story is a long convoluted one; and we can’t even begin to pretend to cover it all here; but we can give you an overview. GMO stands for genetically modified organisms; and if that isn’t enough to cause you pause, maybe the following will.
According to the Non GMO project, a consumer advocate group working to expose the dangers of GMOs, they “are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding methods. Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.” (Quote taken from the NON GMO Project website, GMO Facts)
In close to 50 countries, including Australia, Japan and all the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or even bans on the production and sale of GMOs. A recent study out of France showing huge tumors growing on rats fed GMO corn for their lifetime, which in the case of the females, is a much shorter one caused both Russia and France to ban GMO corn.
In a mind blowing review, “Food is Power”,  of William Engdahl’s book entitled  Seeds of Destruction, Stephen Lendman writes this about the beginnings of GMO plants. Most people believe GMOs started with Monsanto; but that is not the case. “Rockefeller Foundation funding was the Gene Revolution’s catalyst in 1985 with big aims-to learn if GMO plants were commercially feasible and if so spread them everywhere.” (To read the entire review go to theDandelion Salad Blog) Also, don’t miss William Engdahl’s book, Seeds of Destruction.

The GMO monster was actually born back in 1973 with the development of essential genetic engineering techniques.  GMO manipulation is “based on what’s called recombitant DNA (rDNA), and it works by genetically introducing foreign DNA into plants to create genetically modified organisms, but not without risks. London Institute of Science in Society chief biologist, Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, explained the dangers because the process is imprecise. ‘It is uncontrollable and unreliable, and typically ends up damaging and scrambling the host genome, with entirely unpredictable consequences’ that might unleash a deadly unrecallable Andromeda Strain'”. (Quote taken from “Food is Power”, a Review of Seeds of Destruction by Stephen Lendman)

But all that mattered to the GMO advocates were potentially huge profits. “One project was to map the rice genome. It launched a 17 year effort to spread GMO rice around the world with Rockefeller Foundation money behind it. It spent millions funding 46 worldwide science labs. It also financed the training of hundreds of graduate students and developed an ‘elite fraternity’ of top scientific researchers at Foundation-backed research institutes. It was a diabolical scheme aiming big-to control the staple food for 2.4 billion people and in the process destroy the biological diversity of over 140,000 developed varieties that can withstand droughts, pests and grow in every imaginable climate.” In other words, the goal of this GMO rice project was to replace all the natural rice that had been developed over hundreds, if not thousands of years, with GMO rice. (Quote taken from “Food is Power” a Review of Seeds of Destruction by Stephen Lendman)

Of course, Asia was the target continent and Engdahl’s book Seeds of Destruction exposes the “Philippines-based Foundation-funded institute (IRRI). “It had a gene bank with ‘every significant rice variety known’ that comprised one-fifth of them all. IRRI let agribusiness giants illegally use the seeds for exclusive patented genetic modification so they could introduce them in markets and dominate them by requiring farmers be licensed and forced to pay annual royalty fees.” (Quote taken from “Food is Power” a Review of Seeds of Destruction by Stephen Lendman)

By 2000, twenty-seven years after the 1973 development of essential genetic engineering techniques, a successful “Golden Rice” was developed that was Vitamin A enriched. It’s marketing scam promised the cure of Vitamin A deficiencies; but no one bothered to explain that 20 lbs. of this shyster rice had to be consumed to get the desired result. Quoting again from Stephen Lendman’s article: “Nonetheless, gene revolution backers were ready for their next move: “the consolidation of global control over humankind’s food supply” with a new tool to do it-the World Trade Organization (WTO). Corporate giants wrote its rules favoring them at the expense of developing nations shut out.”

We recently saw that a “Golden Rice 2” has been developed to solve the Vitamin A deficiency found in the original “Golden Rice”. Exploring the merits and problems with “Golden Rice 2” specifically is a task for another Newsletter.

By this time (2000), several of the world’s major chemical companies known unaffectionately as Big Chemi had gotten wind of the huge monetary windfall possible through GMOs. Monsanto was one of those companies, along with DuPont, Sangenta and Cargill. So let’s take a close look at the leader of the GMO product and propaganda group-Monsanto.


Monsanto was established in 1901 and it’s first product was saccharin. By 1955, Monsanto branched out into the petroleum business and acquired Lion Oil. With this acquisition, it was introduced to the fertilizer business. From there it moved into the agricultural chemical business with one of its leading products, a weed killer called “Round Up”, which is known worldwide.
Recently, it has been shown that “Round Up” is toxic to humans and it’s main ingredient, Glyphosate, causes cancer in humans. The French Environment and Energy Minister sent a clear message to Monsanto when she warned garden shops to stop selling it to their customers because it’s harmful to humans; and two Swiss supermarket chains announced that they are dropping the product due to health concerns. (See the Christina Sarich article entitled, ” French Minister Asks Stores To Stop Selling Round Up” and the Organic Consumers Association Article entitled, ” New Study Links Monsanto’s Roundup to Cancer“)
Unfortunately, us guinea pigs for the Bio-Tech Companies in the U.S. don’t get that kind of protection from our government. In fact we get the shaft (scroll down to section entitled U.S. House of Representatives Gives the People of America the SHAFT)
Now on with the Monsanto story because it gets even more horrifying. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Monsanto gained the esteemed reputation of being  a leading producer of Agent Orange, which contained the toxic chemical called dioxin. They produced this chemical for the U.S. Military in Vietnam. By the end of that war, “72 million liters of Agent Orange [were sprayed] on over one million Vietnam civilians and over 100,000 U.S. troops. Within ten years of the end of the war, 9,170 veterans had filed claims for disabilities believed to be caused by Agent Orange.” (Quote taken from Wikipedia, Agent Orange)

And now, as a result, no doubt, of their sterling reputation, Monsanto’s goal is to produce GMO food for the world. This company realized that they could create GMO seeds that grew plants that were resistant to their weed killer, Round Up-that same Round Up other countries are now banning.
Farmers could buy these GMO seeds and use copious amounts of Round Up to kill their weeds without affecting their plants. Round Up is a Glyphosate. A Glyphosate is a poison, which is extremely deadly for most plants and quite toxic for people especially over time. It not only can get in the human bloodstream; but it can cross the blood barrier and reach our unborn children.

A 2012 article published in the Ithika Journal“cites a study performed on average citizens of Berlin, testing whether or not people with no exposure to agriculture such as lawyers, doctors, and journalists had glyphosate in their systems.  Guess what, they did, and had no idea it was in what they had been eating.  Not only did they test positive, but they were found with between 5 and 20 times the “acceptable” limit.”

Current Roundup Ready crops include soy, corn, canola, alfalfa, cotton, and sorghum, with wheat under development. Roundup Ready crop seeds have become known as “terminator seeds.” This is because the crops now produced from Roundup Ready seeds are sterile. Each year, farmers must purchase the most recent strain of seed from Monsanto. This means that farmers cannot reuse their best seed. These franken seeds have been patented by Monsanto; and any cross pollination onto farmer’s fields who have not purchased Monsanto seeds gets met with high paid Monsanto lawyers filing lawsuits aimed to destroy the helpless farmer who refused to get with the program.

Again from the article, Food is Power: “After Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans were licensed in 1996, ‘a once-productive national family farm-based agriculture system [in Argentina, the first guinea pig nation for GMOs] (was turned into) a neo-feudal state system dominated by a handful of powerful, wealthy owners to exploit for profit’. President Menem went along. In less than a decade, he allowed the nation’s corn, wheat and cattle diversity to be replaced by corporate-controlled monoculture. It was a Faustian sellout, and it helped Monsanto’s stock price hit an all-time high near year end 2007. Argentina had become the world’s largest uncontrolled experimental laboratory for GMO’s and its people unwitting lab rats.”   

The U.S. and it’s people are in even worse shape when it comes to GMOs. From 1996 to 2004, an astonishing 106 million acres of GMO crops were planted. This amounted to a staggering 2/3 of all GMO crops planted worldwide.

And we wonder why obesity, diabetes, cancer and infertility are on the rise??? The U.S. FDA is right now under the control of an ex-Monsanto Vice President, Michael Taylor, who was appointed our Food Safety (Czar) by President Obama. Do you really think our food is safe? Under Michael Taylor’s rule you can bet mandatory labeling of GMOs will never be instituted but a lot of raw milk producers are being raided and even jailed. Guess which area Mr. Taylor oversaw for Monsanto? It was non other than that company’s milk industry products specifically it’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, another one of their highly questionable products.

Just to make sure you get the whole picture. When GMOs hit the U.S. market, the FDA, under the influence of Monsanto lobbyists, declared them safe and not materially different from non-genetically modified versions of the same crops. There was no outside testing or scientific research required past what Monsanto and the other GMO pushers claim in their in-house so called scientific research. These products were unleashed into the U.S. and world market place with no required labeling either. So we don’t really know when we’re eating genetically modified products. Given the sad fact that 88 percent of corn and 94 percent of soybeans grown in America are genetically modified and many processed and packaged foods have these ingredients in them, you can bet you’re eating GMOs by the mouth full.

The House of Representatives takes away our right to demand GMO Labels, which is another way of saying they just gave us the shaft.

Never mind the hand shaped like a gun to our heads. The Government is working hard on killing our 2nd Amendment Rights, too.

I’m feeling about as speechless as the little blond woman in my above cartoon. I had to create a cartoon out of this situation because what happened in our House of Representatives last Thursday, July 23, 2015 was historic, horrific and so sad that I had to bring some levity to it.
Our U.S. House of Representatives actually voted to deny our States the right to place Demand GMO Labeling Bills on their ballots. What happened to States Rights? What happened to the 10th Amendment that states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”?
What happened to the 275 Representatives who voted for HR1599 on that sad day? The real truth is they aren’t our Representatives-they really Represent Big Food and the Big Bio-Tech companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill and Sangenta. That’s who really pays them. That’s where the money comes from to put them in office and that’s how they stay in office. It costs a lot to run a campaign in the new millenium.
So if you want to know “Who Was Really Paid to Bury GMO Labeling via the DARK Act?” just read the linked article by that name on the Food Democracy Now! website. According to their research, “house members who voted to keep the public from knowing what is in their food in the latest land-slide win for Big Food supporters of The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (known to its critics as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act)) were paid three times as much as representatives who voted to give us the right to label or ban GMO foods.”
Those traitors to our Food Freedom voted against the will of the people and they know it because we’ve told them we want our GMO food labeled. “The Center for Food safety says that 93% of Americans want their food labeled if it contains GM ingredients. And that is just one of many surveys showing similar results”. (Quote taken from Food Democracy Now article, “Who Was Really Paid to Bury GMO Labeling via the DARK  Act?”

There are Traitors to our Food Freedom in this Room!  Keep reading if you want to know who they are.

According to opensecrets.org, this is where the money trail leads:
  • …the campaigns of Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Rodney Davis(R-Ill.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), all cosponsors of the legislation (most of whom also sit on the House Agriculture Committee), received six-figure dollar amounts from providers of agricultural services and products – one segment of the agribusiness sector – during the 2014 election cycle. That put them high among the top 20 recipients of funds from the industry.
  • Co-sponsors such as Reps. David Valadao (R-Calif.), Steve Fincher (R-Tenn.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) aren’t on the Agriculture Committee, but nevertheless pulled in six-figure dollar amounts from the crop production and basic processing industry (another part of agribusiness; think Cargill Inc. and the National Corn Growers Association) during the midterm cycle – landing them among the 20 members who received the most from that industry.
  • Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), two original sponsors of the legislation, were the top two current House members receiving the most money from the Grocery Manufacturers Association in 2014. The grocery manufacturers – who have spent $4.1 million lobbying on all issues so far this year, almost as much as they spent in all of 2014 – have lobbied on the bill more than any other organization, mentioning the measure on 14 lobbying reports this year.
If you want to get the entire List of who voted AYE and who voted NO, go to GovTrack.US. If your Representative voted AYE, he/she just chose the wishes of Big Food over yours. To read the Text of the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” go toGovTrack.US.
We knew there was a lot of special interest politics going on in our government; but this revelation just blew the lid off of it. We really aren’t a Republic of the people when it comes to food legislation. We’re a Fascist State ruled by Big Food in collusion with Government.
What’s so ironic about this is we’re the ones buying the products that these Big Food Businesses make. We are allowing them to turn us into sick, fat, sheeple who are being fed GMO’s just like the food animals they raise. The animals can’t speak for themselves; and now, if our House of Representatives has anything to say about it, neither will we. Big Food is not only turning us into mutants with their GMO concoctions, they are making us mute with their DARK Act.
If this bill passes the Senate, we won’t be able to demand labeling via our State elections, and all of the products that now carry Non-GMO Labels will have those labels ripped off until the USDA gets around to issuing its rules and regulations that define, verify and certify what’s Non-GMO. The last time the USDA was tasked with this kind of project, regarding Organic Food, it took them a decade to get it done. So DARK is absolutely the appropriate name for this Act because the whole issue of GMO’s in our grocery stores will be delegated to a complete black out.

So how did our food system get controlled by Big Food the Bio-Techs and the Government in the first place?

There’s a revolving door between Big Food, the Bio-Techs and Government–a door that should be SHUT forever. Take Michael Taylor for instance. Michael Taylor has been playing musical doors between Monsanto, the USDA and the FDA for years. After working as Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto, our President brought him into the FDA to be our Food Czar. A new and formal title was created just for him; and on January 13, 2010, he became Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

What’s the Solution? 
The following is a list of the Activist Food Sites:

Get in on the FOOD REVOLUTION and join the FOOD FIGHT! There are several Food Freedom sites that have grown up over the past five to ten years. This isn’t a new fight; but if it’s new for you, start paying attention. This is our health and the health of our children, our grandchildren and our environment that we’re fighting for.
Go to the Food Democracy Now! website and SIGN the Petition to STOP H.R. 1599! Our lives depend on it.
The Activist Post activates about a lot of things; but onepost Eric Blair wrote in 2010 about a hotly contested Food Bill, Senate Bill S. 510, the “Food Safety Modernization Act” tells the story of what’s really happening regarding food legislation in the U.S.
WARNING! That Bill passed both houses of Congress and became LAW! It also had the word, “Safe” in its title just like the “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015”. 
Oh, and please take note that S.510 was slipped into another Bill (that was guaranteed to pass) in the dead of night during the Christmas season on Sunday, December 19, 2010.
The Food Freedom USA website is taking a stand against the movement in our country to negate our Food Freedom. Their Home page states the following: ” It is the Natural Right of the people to be well nourished and consume nutrient dense, GMO free, whole, raw, fresh, unprocessed, locally raised foods and beverages, including water; the right  to save seeds, to grow food, to keep livestock, to access to grazing for cattle, to store water, to use natural medical alternatives, to raise hemp, to make butter, to make cheese, render lard, and the right to consume the foods of our choices according to the traditions of our ancestors.”
Dr. Rima Laibow, MD and Major General Albert N. Stubblebine III (U.S. Army Retired) have been a hard working duo in the world of Food Freedom for over a decade. Their Natural Solutions Foundation Who We Are page says this: “The Natural Solutions Foundation is predicated on the belief that people own this Republic of ours. Decisions that impact the lives of people must be made through a democratic process in which their voices are heard and counted and, in so far as possible, should be left to the individual to make for him/herself. That is the United States left to us by our Founding Fathers, the United States we believe in and the United States we participate in. We do not warm to the prospect of a United States of America controlled and run through the lies by huge multi-national corporations and deceptive special interests.”
The Organic Consumers Association is a real Take Action site. They have several ways you can join the Food Fight! Go to their website and start making a difference today.

Food First has been operating for 40 years to “support communities and social movements fighting for food justice and food sovereignty around the world. Food First gives you the tools to understand our global food system, and to build your local food movement from the ground up.”

If you’ve been so activated by what our U.S. House of Representatives just did to our Food Freedom, this is the place to go to get your local food movement off the ground.
The Institute for Responsible Technology is the home of the premiere food activist focusing on GMO’s, Jeffrey Smith. Mr. Smith wrote one of the most influential books about GMO’s way back in 2003. It’s a classic today and was one of the first books to expose the dangers of GMO’s to our bodies and our world.
Get informed. Read Jeffrey Smith’s book. Check out the Take Action section on the IRT website.
The Seed Freedom website is spreading a counter message to the Monsanto practice of denying their farmer participants from saving their seeds. Here’s a quote from the About page on this website: “We are seed savers and seed defenders, farmers and gardeners, practioners of ecological agriculture and participants in fair trade. Our right to save and exchange our open pollinated, non GMO, non patented seed is non alienable. Farmers rights are non negotiable. We will resist every law and technology that attempts to undermine our freedoms, and the freedom of the seed, which is intimately linked to the freedom of Mother Earth. We are committed to preventing Monsanto and other chemical corporations which are seeking to control our Seed Supply through GMOs, patents, and Intellectual Property Rights.”

The famous food activist, Vandana Shiva is the center piece and originator of Seed Freedom. She travels the world sharing her views about the importance of preserving diversity and fighting against the take over of our seeds and crops by Monsanto and friends.

These are just a few of the many food freedom websites that have sprung up over the years. Join them and Take Action with them. There’s still hope that together, we can save our food, our lives and our world.
One last resource is a reference book on food. It’s The People Power Food Superbook Book 1 by Tony Kelbrat. Mr. Kelbrat has written an entire cadre of these reference books on various topics. This one has a Section on Food Activist Websites. Granted, Mr. Kelbrat, uses a rather broad definition of Food Activist because Monsanto is actually on his list, and when we think of Food Activists we think of folks who are activating against Monsanto but nevertheless, this is a valuable resource.

More About Monsanto and the relationship between Obesity and GMO’s.

The U.S. House of Representatives in passing the HR1599 Bill, just gave producers of products containing GMO’s the right to put “Natural” on their labels; and Monsanto is actually claiming that their GMO seeds are organic because they only splice organic seeds. How long will it take for the NOSB (National Organic Standards Board) to be hijacked by this corporate giant and declare along with Monsanto that GMOs are organic. That will be the death knoll for the USA Certified Organic Label.
But what is the relationship between the obesity epidemic and GMO’s? If you refer back to our May 2015 Newsletter, which is all about High Fructose Corn Syrup and its contribution to obesity, you’ll see that the culprit in HFCS is CORN.
Here are the sad statistics regarding how far the GMO takeover of our crops has gone. This information is coming right out of the USDA where they use a new word to describe GMO crops. They are calling them HT (Herbicide Tolerant) these days. Do you think it’s an accident that just when the heat against GMO’s gets to boiling, the USDA simply changes the offending name. And guess which Herbicide the crops are tolerant of. Why it’s Monsanto’s Round Up, of course, that same herbicide that’s being banned in France and other countries because researchers have shown it causes cancer and can built up in the human body. But it’s not being banned in the U.S. because Monsanto has a strangle hold on our Government Agency with one of their own, Michael Taylor, sitting in the seat of our Food Safety Czar. Are you ready for the scary news? Here it is:
“Based on USDA survey data, HT [read GMO] soybeans went from 17 percent of U.S. soybean acreage in 1997 to 68 percent in 2001 and 94 percent in 2014 and in 2015. Plantings of HT [read GMO] cotton expanded from about 10 percent of U.S. acreage in 1997 to 56 percent in 2001, 91 percent in 2014, but declined to 89 percent in 2015. The adoption of HT [read GMO] corn, which had been slower in previous years, has accelerated, reaching 89 percent of U.S. corn acreage in 2014 and in 2015.” (Quote taken from USDA Article entitled “Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S.”)
Now where do you think the corn in all of that High Fructose Corn Syrup is coming from? It’s coming from those GMO corn fields that now represent nearly 90% of our corn crop. So YES, GMO corn is contributing to obesity, big time. It isn’t an accident that just as GMO’s came into our food system in the mid nineties, the obesity epidemic began to take off; and once HFCS took over for sugar cane, the obesity epidemic got worse. Here’s the chart to prove it.
Graphic accessed from Garma On Health.com
Since the innocent fifties, when family farmers were our food growers and our waistlines were much narrower, the American Food System has experienced a hostile take over by Big Agri, Big Food, Big Chemical and Big Government. With a nod from the government, these companies are allowed to treat the animals they raise and the people they feed, the American people, with ruthless disregard.
The recent passage of HR1599 by the House of Representatives is exemplary of that. We, the American people will have nothing to say about the GMO’s in our food if the Senate follows suit. We are being treated no differently than the poor, pitiful animals that have nothing to say about the deplorable lives they are having to endure under the highly questionable husbandry standards of the Big Agri companies.
Isn’t it time for YOU to join the FOOD REVOLUTION. You can access all of our Newsletters here or just go to our Aquaponics USA website to access them under “AP Education”. There’s a 4 Part Series on the FOOD REVOLUTION to catch you up about this important and necessary movement in the U.S.
Coming in August! Part 5 of Obesity in America.
Don’t miss Part 5 of the Series, Obesity in America. This is the longest Series we’ve written. Part 5 is all about how Aspertame and MSG came into being, what they are, where they are and how terrible they are for our health. See you in August.
There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of things to bring to the light of day out of our grossly mismanaged American Food System.
It really is time for a FOOD REVOLUTION in America; and learning Aquaponics is a big part of taking a stand for REAL Food. You can go to our Aquaponics USA website and access a 7-Part Tutorial on Aquaponics complete with Quizzes and a Certificate of Completion all for Free if you really want to learn how to be an Aquaponics farmer.
Please alert your colleagues, friends and family who need to become aware of the dangers of GMO’s. We can’t make the changes we need to make without first understanding why the changes are so important. We can save lives with this information.
Thank You for following our Blog. We so appreciate your interest in our two cutting edge Aquaponics Companies, Aquaponics US and Aquaponics Wold, LLC. We’ll continue to bring you important information about Aquaponics, our Food and our Food System, which, right now, is broken.
Please help us turn the tables around and become the healthiest country on the planet instead of the sickest.
Aquaponics USA/World

Obesity in America, Part 3, Fast Food Nation

Aquaponics USA/World
June 2015 Newsletter
Table of Contents
A Word From Our Editor
History of Fast Food in America
History of McDonald’s
What’s in the Hamburger Bun?
What’s in the Pasteurized Cheese?
What’s in the Sauce?
Is Pink Slime Hiding in your Hamburger?
What’s in that Hamburger Patty?
How bad are the Fries?
Why are Soft Drinks called “Soft”?
We’re Being Hit by a Fast Food Storm!
Coming in July. Obesity in America Part 4
Get our Free Aquaponics Course by mid month!

A Word From Our Editor, Grace Sylke
We bit off a big chunk when we started this Series on “Obesity in America” back in December. That’s why it took so long to move forward into Parts 2, 3 & the up-coming Part 4.
This topic is so huge and important, we needed to make sure we could give it the time and research it deserved.
Some of the most important information is still coming so please stay tuned; and thank you for being one of our valued Subscribers.

Get Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters from our December 2014 Edition. This is also the Newsletter where you’ll get, Obesity in America, Part 1
Here they are all in one place. Our first year of Newsletters full of incredible information about Aquaponics and our Food System.

Here’s our May Newsletter in case you missed it. It’s Part 2 of the Obesity in America Series.
Don’t miss this important information about High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS is in just about everything that’s processed and packaged. Beware, it’s as bad as alcohol for our livers.

Here’s our April Newsletter in case you missed it.
We declared April to be Food Revolution Month in honor of the Annual Food Revolution Summit sponsored by John and Ocean Robbins. Then we gave the history of Earth Day in Honor of that day, April 22, 2015.

Here’s our March Newsletter in case it was missed.
To honor National Nutrition Month, we look at all of the Food related Programs that we are running in the U.S. including who these programs serve and the costs of those services.

H ere’s our February Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter is all about our enclosed growing and fish raising areas, which include our Growroom and Fishroom featuring our latest evolution in Seed Germination, the SIT (Seed Incubation Table).

Here’s our January Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter features our latest change in the Greenhouse, and it’s a real innovation. Our retired aerospace engineer turned Aquaponics System Designer, Oliver Duffy, just keeps improving his designs. See what he’s up to now in this informative Newsletter.

Be sure to get the Ap for theAquaponics Digest Magazine!
Catch all 4 Parts of Grace’s Series on the FOOD REVOLUTION!
The Aquaponics Digest Magazine features an advanced digital magazine and publishing and marketing platform for the 21st century; and it’s just getting started.
Click on the Link to learn how/where to get the Ap for iPhone and iPad.
Aquaponics Digest Magazine is a must read for any and all Aquaponics enthusiasts.
It features articles by the field’s leaders like:
Sylvia Bernstein
Aaron Woolf
Glenn Martinez
and our own,
Grace Sylke

Check Out our

We have several Videos on How To Do Aquaponics including two on installing our Food Forever Growing Systems in two schools in Tucson, AZ.

Here comes Aquaponics 101. Look for it under the drop down “AP Info” Menu on our Aquaponics USA website.
This is some of the best information you’ll ever find about Aquaponics and How to build an Aquaponics System. It’s coming to our website this month complete with Quizzes and a Certificate of Completion.

Be Sure to Visit our

It’s full of Original Art by our Editor, Grace Sylke, including the new Pixton Cartoons she created for this Newsletter.

Watch for the new Food Documentary,

It’s still in production but coming out soon. It features famous food activists likeJeffery Smith, Vandana Shivaand We’re in it. Click the Link to Check out the Trailer.

We now have QUICK KITS!
And they’re all about saving money on one of our Food Forever? Growing Systems and saving money to get it shipped!
“You Build A Little,
We Ship A Lot For Less!”
Obesity in America Part 3
Fast Food Nation (A Reprint of our June Newsletter)
Dear Blog Followers:
This month as promised, we’re writing about Fast Food in America in Part 3 of our Series on Obesity in America. We all know that we are the originators of the Fast Food concept and have imported this unhealthy food idea around the world.
With almost 321 million Americans, we are the third most populated country in the world behind India and China. Out of those 321 million people, about 50 Million of us eat from the 160,000 available Fast Food restaurants daily. That’s almost 6.5% of our population. And would you believe that it’s projected we will spend about $210 billion dollars in 2016 on some of the most unhealthy food we could possibly purchase and ingest.
This Newsletter is going to look at the history of Fast Food, it’s exponential growth and why Fast Food is bad for our health and a major contributor to our Obesity Epidemic.
(Statistics taken from United States Census Bureau Population Clock and Statistic Brain Research Institute)

History of Fast Food in America.

Cars not only made it possible for us to travel faster, they also contributed to our ability to eat faster. In fact “the history of fast food in America runs parallel to the invention of the car. These two industries are so intertwined that most people today think of fast food as anything being served out of a window and into an automobile.” (Quote taken from the AccuPOS, Point of Sale Software website)
Many of us believe that McDonald’s started the Fast Food trend; but actually it was a restaurant in Wichita, Kansas in 1921 founded by a cook, Walt Anderson, and an insurance man, Edgar Waldo. They  called their restaurant White Castle and together they turned ground beef into an acceptable way to eat beef. White Castle continues to operate a popular Fast Food Hamburger Restaurant Chain in the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic U.S.
Before White Castle, people thought hamburger was made from the discarded or rotten remains of meat scraped off the filthy slaughterhouse floor. The founders of White Castle changed that belief, which was created by Upton Sinclair‘s popular 1906 novel, The Jungle, when he publicized the poor sanitation practices of the meat packing industry.
These two restaurant innovators purposely set out to mold the public’s perception of the cleanliness of the industry. “To invoke a feeling of cleanliness, their restaurants were small buildings with white porcelain enamel on steel exteriors, stainless steel interiors, and employees outfitted with spotless uniforms.” They also chose their name, White Castle, to evoke cleanliness. It worked, and customers started flocking to what soon became the first restaurant chain in the world, which quickly garnered copy-cat entrepreneurs who came up with all kinds of variations on that name.
“Anderson is credited with the invention of the hamburger bun as well as the kitchen assembly line, and the cook as an infinitely replaceable technician, hence giving rise to the modern fast food phenomenon. Due to White Castle’s innovation of having chain-wide standardized methods, customers could be sure that they would receive the same product and service in every White Castle restaurant. As Henry Ford did for car manufacturing, Anderson and Ingram did for the making of burgers.” And once again we see the intimate relationship between the car and the Fast Food hamburger. 
In the beginning all of the White Castle hamburger meat was freshly ground and the burgers were topped with fresh onions; but the competition for the lowest price and the demand for even faster Fast Food caused the chain to move to frozen patties and rehydrated onions, which they serve today.
(Quotes and facts taken from Wikipedia, White Castle Restaurant, White Castle)

History of McDonald’s

No history of Fast Food would be complete without the history of McDonald’s. While White Castle was perfecting their kitchen assembly line and creating their chain of hamburger restaurants in the Midwest from the early 20’s through the late 40’s, the McDonald family moved from New Hampshire to Hollywood, CA and opened a food stand called “The Airdrome” on the famous Route 66 in Monrovia, CA in 1936. Their main item was hot dogs. Maurice and Richard, known as Mac and Dick, moved the entire building 40 miles east to San Bernardino, CA and renamed it “McDonald’s Bar-B-Q”. There were 25 barbecued menu items.
By 1948, the McDonald brothers revamped their entire operation to emphasize their best selling items, which were hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, shakes, soft drinks, apple pie and McDonald’s was born. In 1952 with the goal of more efficiency and curb appeal, the brothers hired an architect who helped them design a building with “gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass; pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon; and last but not least, two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called ‘ golden arches'”. By late 1952, the brothers went out seeking their first Franchisee holding only the rendering of their new building design in their hands. 

What Horrors Await Us in a Big Mac Bun! 

Let it be known that we are using McDonald’s and the Big Mac as as example of common industry wide Fast Food Restaurant practices as well as fast home prepared processed and packaged food practices. These offending ingredients have become standard fair in most Fast Food establishments as well as by most processors of fast home prepared food; and it all started with the perceived need among food providers to PRESERVE the food.
The answer to that need is PRESERVATIVES which birthed crazy to pronounce additives like Calcium Propionate and/or Sodium Propionate. The scary Big Mac Bun contains them; and they are known to “permanently damage your stomach lining by exacerbating gastritis and inducing severe ulcers. You should avoid fast-food products that have a high ratio of calcium propionate, such as buns, pastries and pizza. Typically, freshly baked bread products avoid the addition of calcium propionate, which is why they tend to spoil more quickly” as this PRESERVATIVE is all about preventing the growth of mold.
Watch this mind boggling Video Clip from the TV Show, The Doctors, about a man who kept a McDonald’s Burger for 14 years.
Burger From 1999 Almost Looks New
Burger From 1999 Almost Looks New
So what else does the scary bun contain? Here’s the whole tongue-tying list:
Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water,  High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Monoglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzymes, Guar Gum, Calcium Peroxide), Sorbic Acid, Calcium Propionate and/or Sodium Propionate (Preservatives), Soy Lecithin, Sesame Seed.
CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOY LECITHIN. (Ingredient List and idea to go through each part of the Big Mac taken from Food Matters.tv)
This bun is a far cry from what grandma made with flour, water, salt and yeast in her kitchen back in the day. So let’s just look at a couple more of these ingredients like Ammonium Sulfate.
That gem is also “a fertilizer that’s sometimes used in making homemade explosives.” Ready to blow up your intestines? It is “also used as an herbicide because it will burn the leaves of plants and either kill them outright or at least weaken them for easy removal. This compound is used in the production of printed circuit boards. It’s also in flame retardant materials because it lowers the combustion temperature and increases the production of residues or chars. Ammonium sulfate activates yeast, so it helps to get industrially produced bread to rise, and it’s also a general-purpose food additive.” What a lovely cross-purpose abomination to be putting in our Big Mac buns and many of our other processed breads. (Quotes taken from the Aluminumsulfate.net website)

Then there’s the High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, which we talked about at length in our May Newsletter. HFCS, like sugar, is a known toxin that acts just like alcohol in the body and is causing an epidemic of Obesity and non-alcohol related fatty liver disease in thousands of people; and it’s addictive. Have you ever wondered why you just have to have that Big Mac?

We’ve spent paragraphs just talking about three of the nasty ingredients in the Big Mac Bun. Keep reading to find out what’s in the cheese, the sauce and the meat.

What, pray tell, is in the Pasteurized, Processed American Cheese?

Floating innocently above the white background is what looks, and to many tastes, like a little slice of heaven. But, the truth be known, this Pasteurized, Processed All American Cheese is more likely responsible for sending many of us to heaven because it is laden with a dangerous  PRESERVATIVE known as Sodium Phosphate.
Food producers like our Fast Food Conglomerates and many other packaged processed food pushers would rather PRESERVE
their food using whatever monstrous additive they deem useful than to PRESERVE the health of the people they are feeding.
Here’s the Ingredients List for Pasteurized Processed American Cheese, which is the cheese in a Big Mac:
Milk, Cream, Water, Cheese Culture, Sodium Citrate, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Lactic Acid, Acetic Acid, Enzymes, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Natural Flavor (Dairy Source), Color Added, Soy Lecithin (Added for Slice Separation). CONTAINS: MILK AND SOY LECITHIN (Ingredient List and idea to go through each part of the Big Mac taken from Food Matters.tv)
We are going to look at just one of these ingredients; and it’s the ubiquitous PRESERVATIVE Sodium Phosphate. And once again, we are blowing our own minds as we research this additive.
According to the conclusion of a study discussed in an Article published in aerzteblatt-international.de: “In view of the high prevalence of CKD [chronic kidney disease] and the potential harm caused by phosphate additives to food, the public should be informed that added phosphate is damaging to health. Furthermore, calls for labeling the content of added phosphate in food are appropriate.” They also explained in this article that: “Foods with added phosphate tend to be eaten by persons at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, who consume more processed and “fast” food. The main pathophysiological effect of phosphate is vascular damage, e.g. endothelial dysfunction and vascular calcification.” EGAD! There’s one more killer to watch out for on your labels.

So what horrid ingredients are in the Sauce?
(Disclaimer: This is a generic bottle of sauce. We have no idea what a Big Mac’s sauce looks like thanks to our having walked away from a Big Mac addiction many years ago.)

Here’s another one of those never ending lists of ingredients:
Soybean Oil, Pickle Relish, Diced Pickles, High Fructose Corn SyrupSugar, Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate [Preservative], Spice Extractives, Polysorbate 80), Distilled Vinegar, Water, Egg Yolks, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Onion Powder, Mustard Seed, Salt, Spices, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Mustard Bran, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Vegetable Protein (Hydrolyzed Corn, Soy and Wheat), Caramel Color, Extractives of Paprika, Soy Lecithin, Turmeric (Color), Calcium Disodium EDTA (Protect Flavor).
CONTAINS: WHEAT, EGG AND SOY.  (Ingredient List and idea to go through each part of the Big Mac taken from Food Matters.tv)
Once again, let’s start with the PRESERVATIVES, Propylene Glycol Alginate and Sodium Benzoate. Propylene Glycol Alginate is found in everything gel-like including commercial jams, salad dressings, yogurt, toothpaste and cosmetics. It serves two purposes. It thickens and it preserves color and consistency of whatever contains it.

“Although it is considered a safe additive, there have been reports of negative side effects. It can produce stomach upset and nausea, whether it’s ingested or used on the skin as a cosmetic. When it is only used cosmetically, it can cause allergic reactions that include hair loss, rashes, and eye irritations. Cosmetic use is the most common cause of side effects. Other skin-related allergies can occur when household cleaners that contain this ingredient are used.”

“It is unclear if this chemical additive should be used by expectant mothers because it is thought to be a teratogen, which means that it might cause birth defects. Because it is easily absorbed into the skin, it is thought that exposure can cause damage to the kidneys as well as the liver. High doses can cause seizures in children. Despite these potential problems, propylene glycol alginate is one of the most commonly used chemical additives.” (Quotes taken from thewisegeek website)

Then there is Sodium Benzoate. Besides the Big Mac sauce, soy sauce, soft drinks, pickles, catsup, mouthwashes, toothpastes, creams, lotions and other cosmetic products contain it. “Though regulations only allow a small percentage of sodium benzoate to be added to products (.1% by weight). The concentration may vary depending on what country you live in. However, the effects of repeated doses of Sodium Benzoate over time are unknown. Professor Peter Piper a molecular biology expert at Sheffield University found that Sodium Benzoate damaged the mitochondrial DNA of yeast cells. (Mitochondria are free floating elements in each cell with multiple functions. They are associated with cell metabolism and aging). He concluded that it may do the same to human DNA.”

“One known cancer danger exists related to sodium benzoate. If you combine ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate (another preservative), you get benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Most of the benzene exposure comes from the environment including cigarette smoke, car exhaust, industrial waste and service stations. Some benzene exposure can also come from contaminated food and water. Some soft drinks have been removed from the market when they were found to contain benzene.” (Quotes taken from Spa From Scratchwebsite)

The sad fact is we have no idea of what the long term affects are to the human body of all the additives, chemicals and preservatives that we are putting in our food and in our cosmetic products; and we’re beginning to see why the Paleo Diet, which stays clear of all processed food is a smart idea.
We’ve already spoken about the High Fructose Corn Syrup. Be sure to check out our May Newsletter for the whole story. There’s so much of it in the Big Mac Sauce that it’s listed in the Ingredients twice. One of the rules of listing ingredients is you have to list the largest amounts first so the first listing of High Fructose Corn Syrup is number 4 on this List of over 30 ingredients and sugar is right behind it at number 5.

Is Pink Slime Hiding in your Hamburger Meat?
As of 2012, McDonald’s (to their credit) Stopped Using Pink Slime!

Thanks to a flamboyant young English Chef named Jamie Oliver who came to America and produced an incredible TV Series called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the meat product euphemistically named “Pink Slime” took a big hit in the U.S. market resulting in Safeway pulling it from their offerings and McDonald’s vowing to never use it again after having used it as a filler in their hamburger patties from 2004-2011.
The best way to describe Pink Slime is to show you the YouTube Video which aired on Jamie’s TV Show in April of 2011.
Jamie Oliver Exposes
Jamie Oliver Exposes “Pink Slime”
In spite of the fact that these scraps from the meat packager’s floor are not suited for human consumption and have to be washed in ammonia to kill the bacteria, ecoli and salmonella to make them edible by humans, the FDA has deemed that a toxic brew of 15% Pink Slime can be used as a  food additive  to  ground beef  and beef-based  processed meats without labeling it. They also deemed that because the addition of the ammonia is a part of the process rather than an additive, the ammonia need not be put on the label either. 
He went on to explain that ” research has also highlighted the effects of pink slime’s ammonia, often found in cleaning products, once it comes into contact with water. Exposure to the compound can cause long term damage to parts of the human digestive system, blood vessels, liver, and kidneys. Plus, studies in recent years, including one  conducted by the Center for Science in Public Interest in 2013, found that leftover pathogens in processed meat and poultry accounted for a third of hospitalizations from foodborne-illnesses, like listeria, salmonella, and E.coli.”

In spite of these warnings, school officials in Texas, Virginia, Illinois and Pennsylvania all allowed Pink Slime back onto our children’s lunch trays in 2013; and, as we stated earlier, three school systems,  Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota never banned it in the first place.Cargill, Inc. is still running a robust Pink Slime business shipping beef products containing Pink Slime to nearly 400 retail, food service, and food-processing customers. And in spite of the fact that Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), lost three of its four plants due to lack of demand in 2012, it also continues to produce it in large quantities with the hope of re-opening several of those plants using the $1.2 billion dollars they also hope to get from ABC News when their lawsuit against the news outlet is won. (Quotes and facts taken from Think Progress website)

Fighting Big Food is not easy. We’ll watch for that lawsuit, which should be coming up soon. Let us repeat, McDonald’s says they have stopped using Pink Slime after 2011. Many of the other Fast Food conglomerates say the same thing; but we don’t know where it is because it isn’t being labeled.

We’re just glad we’re making turkey burgers tonight.

So What’s In That Hamburger Meat Patty?

Now that we’ve dealt with the Pink Slime issue, what about Hamburger meat without Pink Slime. Is it good for us?
Firstly, we need to point out the obvious, which is this: The ubiquitous Hamburger appears to be misnamed. It is not made of Ham, which comes from a pig. It is most often made of Beef, which comes from a cow. However, it wasn’t named after it’s meat contents. It’s named after the city, Hamburg, in Germany where the Hamburg Steak was popular and brought to America by German immigrants. Now that that’s out of the way:
Why the bad rap around red meat?
1. “Red meat has been linked to cancer for decades, with research suggesting that eating large amounts of pork, beef or lamb raises the risk of deadly tumors. But for the first time scientists think they know what is causing the effect. The body, it seems, views red meat as a foreign invader and sparks a toxic immune response.

Now they have discovered that pork, beef and lamb contains a sugar which is naturally produced by other carnivores but not humans. It means that when humans eat red meat, the body triggers an immune response to the foreign sugar, producing antibodies which spark inflammation, and eventually cancer. In other carnivores the immune system does not kick in, because the sugar – called Neu5Gc – is already in the body.” (Quote taken from article in The Telegraph dated December, 2014)

WOW! That’s a whole new and recently discovered reason that we should avoid red meat not to mention the:

2. High levels of saturated fat in red meat, which contribute to Obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease. “A recent National Institutes of Health-AARP study of more than a half-million older Americans concluded that people who ate the most red meat and processed meat over a 10-year-period were likely to die sooner than those who ate smaller amounts. Those who ate about 4 ounces of red meat a day were more likely to die of cancer or heart disease than those who ate the least, about a half-ounce a day.” (Quote taken from WebMD)

Then there’s the research reported by the JAMA Internal Medicine Network that concluded the following:

3. “Increasing red meat consumption over time is associated with an elevated subsequent risk of T2DM [type 2 diabetes mellitus], and the association is partly mediated by body weight. Our results add further evidence that limiting red meat consumption over time confers benefits for T2DM [type 2 diabetes mellitus] prevention.” (Quote taken from JAMA On-line Network)

Then there’s this research:

4. “Although the results vary, studies from around the world have suggested that a high consumption of meat is linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. In all cases the worry is confined to red meat, not chicken.

The best evidence comes from a pair of large 2005 studies, one from Europe, the other from the United States. The European research tracked 478,000 men and women who were free of cancer when the study began. The people who ate the most red meat (about 5 ounces a day or more) were about a third more likely to develop colon cancer than those who ate the least red meat (less than an ounce a day on average). Their consumption of chicken did not influence risk one way or the other, but a high consumption of fish appeared to reduce the risk of colon cancer by about a third.” (Quote taken from Harvard Health Publications On-line)

And what about Mad Cow Disease? The fears surrounding Mad Cow disease have largely dissipated but Mad Cow disease has not been eradicated, and it’s cause is still mysterious.

5. “Researchers believe that the infectious agent that causes mad cow disease is an abnormal version of a protein normally found on cell surfaces, called a prion. For reasons still unknown, this protein becomes altered and destroys nervous system tissue–the brain and spinal cord” of the infected adult cow.

“A human version of mad cow disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is believed to be caused by eating beef products contaminated with central nervous system tissue, such as brain and spinal cord, from cattle infected with mad cow disease. For this reason, the USDA requires that all brain and spinal cord materials be removed from high-risk cattle — older cattle, animals that are unable to walk, and any animal that shows any signs of a neurological problem.” (Quote taken from WebMd On-Line)

An article published on the NPR News On-line site entitled ‘Mad Cow’ Disease in Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin’ goes on to report the sad story of a 40 something year-old man who recently died of Mad Cow disease. Dr. Atul Maheshwari, a neurologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, was one of the doctors who took care of the patient with vCJD, and he led the study.

“Maheshwari hopes the case will have a few repercussions. First off, he hopes doctors and nurses will be more aware that vCJD, although extremely rare, can occur, even in people in the U.S.

And the case will help remind health officials around the world that watching out for mad cow disease is still critical. It can crop up in new places, at any time.”

” ‘Since 1996, there have not been any known large epidemics in cows,’ Maheshwari says. ‘But the U.S. has been monitoring the beef industry to make sure another epidemic does not occur.’ ” (Quote taken from NPR’s Goats and Soda Stories of Life in a Changing World)

Continuing to eat beef in light of this mysterious disease that “can crop up in new places, at any time” and relying on the FDA or the USDA to make sure it doesn’t is too much of a gamble for our tastes.

Most meat cows are being factory farmed today. As the demand for Fast Food went up with more Moms in the workforce so did the demand for Fast Beef and factory farms took over the family farm where traditionally meat cattle were grass fed and raised naturally over about a 3-year timeline. For the most part, this idyllic family farm is just a memory today.

6. “Today’s beef industry process brings cattle to slaughter weight in just one or two years. But it reduces the nutritional value of the meat, stresses the animals, increases the risk of bacterial contamination, pollutes the environment and exposes consumers to a long list of unwanted chemicals.”

“The U.S. beef supply contains traces of hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals that were never produced by any cow. That hamburger looks fresh, but it may be two weeks old and injected with gases to keep it cherry red. Take a closer look at that ‘guaranteed tender and juicy’ filet of beef. The juiciness may have been ‘enhanced’ with a concoction of water, salt,PRESERVATIVES and other additives.” (Quote taken from Mother Earth News On-line Magazine Article What You Need To Know About The Beef Industry“)

And here’s the clincher. This horror show of factory raised cattle being jabbed with hormones and antibiotics resulting in meat that is further enhanced with PRESERVATIVES, it’s all 100% Pure USDA Inspected Beef just like McDonald’s claims it’s hamburger patty to be

If you take all of the above six reasons into consideration, do you really need another reason to quit eating red meat or to at least cut down your consumption of it? Okay, so here’s one more:

7. Cows feed our children one of the only drinks that Dr. Lustig has left on the table next to water, and that’s Milk. Dr. Lustig exposed the dangers of Fructose that comes in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup in soft drinks and just plain Fructose in both pure and sugary fruit drinks. See our May Newsletter for the whole story.

We’re not going to go into the horrors of the factory Dairy Farm here. We just want to suggest that it might be time to thank the cows and then give them a break at least in the meat department from being the primary food animal in the U.S., and you have six really good reasons to do so.

We also want to make it clear that we’re not vegans or saints around here. We’re raising our own fish, and we eat chickens and turkey, which are also being raised in terrible conditions on factory farms.

We do our best to purchase organic chicken meat from Whole Foods; but when we eat out, we’re supporting the factory chicken farms.

So far, we’ve only been talking about the Hamburger, using the Big Mac, that is served at McDonald’s as one example of the many Fast Food burgers out there; but it’s a rare customer who only orders a Hamburger when they go to a Fast Food Restaurant. The most popular combination meal includes French Fries and a Soft Drink.

So let’s take a look at the French Fries.

Do We Really Want to Know How Bad The Fries Are?
If your answer is “No”, stop reading right here because the fries are really bad.
“In the USA about one quarter of the vegetables consumed are fries.  That’s not one quarter of potatoes, that’s one quarter of all vegetables in total!”
“Americans now eat an average of four servings of french fries every week for every man, woman and child. Do we really have to ask why there is an epidemic of Obesity and its related diseases?”
If the above statements didn’t shock you, nothing will. It seems we’re all French Fry addicts.
A small serving of fries from any Fast Food Restaurant contains between 200 and 340 calories. Large servings of fries contain between 370 and 730 calories. The fat content in a small serving is between 8 and 17 grams and between 11and 37 grams in a large serving.  Out of those grams of fat, small servings contain around 1.5 to 3.5 grams of saturated fat and in large servings, the saturated fat goes up to 4.5 to 8 grams. The only good news here is at least French Fries don’t contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.
“French fries served in American restaurants often come dipped in corn oil even before they are fried. Processed corn oil is considered one of the worst kinds of oils for the human body. Aside from the saturated fat, corn oil has 60 times more inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3s.”
“Foods that have been fried in hydrogenated vegetable oils like corn, canola and soybean oil are especially damaging to our health. The polyunsaturated fats they contain become rancid with the constant heating and reheating that degrades their structure. These unnatural and heat damaged fats are strongly implicated in promoting inflammation within your body that is the starting point of many common health problems and diseases.”
When we eat French Fries, we’re eating a high glycemic carbohydrate, which means we immediately start producing fat storing insulin. “These quickly digested carbohydrates themselves are converted into glycogen, which, if you don’t eat them with a lot of exercise, is stored very easily in your body as fat, so you’re getting double the weight gain potential with every ‘happy’ meal.”
(Quotes and facts taken from Health Ambition Article entitled Are French Fries One of The Most Unhealthy Foods You Eat?)

Then there’s the Soft Drink!

Have you ever wondered why Soft Drinks are called “Soft”? It’s all about them being the opposite of “Hard Liquor”. Unfortunately, they are far from the opposite of “Hard Liquor”; and, in fact, they are as hard on the liver as “Hard Liquor”.
Let us repeat that just in case you missed it. Soft Drinks are as hard on the liver as Hard Liquor.
The biology and chemistry behind this statement is all explained in our May Newsletter in Dr. Lustig’s YouTube Presentation called Sugar: The Bitter Truth so we won’t go into the details here.
So let’s just talk about the basics. “Soda is one of the most consumed beverages in the United States, second only to water. Here in the States, Americans guzzle 57 gallons of soda per person every year, as if it wasn’t full of sugary calories.”

“But what’s happening inside the bodies of soda consumers with each sip? As soon as soda’s swallowed, the pancreas is notified and rapidly begins to create insulin in response to the sugar. Insulin is a hormone the body uses to move sugar from food or drink into the bloodstream, where cells are then able to use sugar for energy. Within just 20 minutes, blood sugar levels spike and the liver responds to the insulin by turning sugar into fat for storage.””Within 45 minutes of gulping down a single 20-ounce glass of soda [with caffeine], caffeine from the drink is fully absorbed, and as a result your pupils dilate and blood pressure rises. The body produces more dopamine, which stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain – just like a low-grade line of cocaine.”

Most of us know that in the 20’s when Cocaine was legal, Coca Cola, nick-named Coke, contained it and got it’s name from that drug, which is also abbreviated to Coke. And just like with the drug, “When the hour chimes, the body begins to experience a blood sugar crash, which is around the same time a person reaches for their second soda, or for another sweet and sugar snack to suffice. Soda’s connection to the obesity epidemic is so intertwined, Harvard researchers have calculated each additional soda consumed increases the risk of obesity 1.6 times.”

“In addition to the threat of reaching obese levels, researchers also found after following 40,000 men for two decades, those who drank a sugary beverage each day had a 20 percent increased risk of having a heart attack. The high fructose corn syrup – a cheap replacement for cane sugar – has been associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome, which leads to diabetes and heart disease.” (Quoted Segments taken from Medical Daily On-line Article entitled, Soft Drink Dangers: 8 Ways Soda Negatively Affects Your Health)

We’re Being Hit By a FAST FOOD STORM and our Carnival Ship is Going Down!

Alone, each one of these Fast Food products or add-ons to a Fast Food product are unhealthy and most often loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar and fandangled PRESERVATIVES.
But together, in what is often called a Combo Meal, they make a perfect FAST FOOD Obesity Storm that we as a country cannot survive.
We are now raising children whose life expectancy is less than their parents. We are on the top of the List of the world’s most obese countries. We are sicker and dying younger than the people in other nations and the statistics are getting worse not better every year.
And what’s even more distressful about this self created slow genocide compliments of Fast Food is that we’re exporting this bad outcome of a good idea all over the world. Obesity is not just an American problem. It’s a planetary problem.
The revealing YouTube Video below called “Fast Food Babies” tells the sad story. Only the BBC would publish a Video like this about their own Fast Food problem which is going generational.
Fast Food Babies
Fast Food Babies
Our Fast Food conglomerates continue to shamelessly market to children and are doing their best to get them hooked on this addictive and toxic combination of fats, sugars, High Fructose Corn Syrup and PRESERVATIVES. This will insure they have customers for their lifetimes even if their lifetimes are cut short.
How do we change this bad eating pattern? We start by spreading the word. We have to understand why Fast Food and fast home- cooked processed food is bad for us and then substitute it with REAL Food.
Big Food has gone too far. They can no longer to be trusted to feed us. They don’t care about our bodies. We have to care about our own bodies and the bodies of our children. We have to turn back the clock and learn to grow our own food, freeze it, can it, prepare it without the processed packaged poisons. This is what we’re being called to do. Let us pray we can rise to the occasion and right this once great ship called America.

Coming in July! Obesity in America Part 4

Don’t miss Part 4 of this Series on Obesity in America. We’re going to look at some of the worst additives that are hiding in our food including Aspertame, MSG and GMO’s. We’ll examine what they are, where they’re hiding and why they’re so bad for us.

Our FREE Aquaponics 101 Course is coming to ourAquaponics USA website on or before June 15th.

It comes with some of the most valuable FREE Aquaponics System information on the web, follow-up Quizzes and even a Certificate of Completion for your wall. You’ll find it under our Drop Down Menu called “AP Info“. Just pull down the Menu Bar and click on Aquaponics 101 Introduction; and have fun learning all about Aquaponics.
Teachers, this is a great Course for your students. Just send them to our website or Print Out the Course and administer it in your classroom.
It really is time for a Food Revolution in America; and learning Aquaponics is a big part of taking a stand for REAL Food.
Please FORWARD this Blog Post to your colleagues, friends and family who need to become aware of the dangers of Fast Food. We can’t make the changes we need to make without first understanding why the changes are so important. We can save lives with this information.
Thank you for following our Blog and our Newsletters. We so appreciate your interest in our two cutting edge Aquaponics Companies, Aquaponics USA and Aquaponics World, LLC. We’ll continue to bring you important information about Aquaponics, our Food and our Food System, which right now is broken.
Please help us turn the tables around and become the healthiest country on the planet instead of the sickest.
Aquaponics USA/World
Get Your 10% Discount on any of our Food Forever Growing Systems!
Offer ends July 15th at Midnight

Obesity in America Part 2

Aquaponics USA/World
MAY 2015 Newsletter
Table of Contents
A Word From Our Editor, Grace Sylke
When Corn was Innocent.
What’s the Difference between Cane Sugar and Corn Sugar?
HFCS is a poisoned poison! EGAD!
Go See Our Updated Website.
We Have A Quick Kit!

A Word From Our Editor, Grace Sylke
Part 2 of the Obesity In America Series finally got published; and my kitchen cupboard is emptier today than it was yesterday and my garbage can is fuller.
It was shocking to find how many products we were buying that had High Fructose Corn Syrup in them.
I’m actually a little embarrassed by the fact that I, a healthy food advocate, was so clueless about the horrors of High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Unlike with GMO’s, we don’t have the excuse of saying, “I didn’t know I was eating it because it’s not labeled.” High Fructose Corn Syrup is labeled; and we all need to start reading those labels and saying NO to HFCS because it is a main cause of the Obesity Epidemic!

Get Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters from ourDecember 2014 Edition. It’s the one where you’ll find Part 1 of this Series, Obesity In America.
Here they are all in one place. Our first year of Newsletters full of incredible information about Aquaponics and our Food System.

Here’s our April Newsletter in case it was missed.
We declared April to be Food Revolution Month in honor of the Annual Food Revolution Summit sponsored by John and Ocean Robbins. Then we gave the history of Earth Day in Honor of that day, April 22, 2015.

Here’s ourMarch Newsletter in case it was missed.
This is an informative look at all of the Food related Programs that we are running in the U.S. including who these programs serve and the costs of those services.

Here’s ourFebruary Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter is all about our enclosed growing and fish raising areas, which include our Growroom and Fishroom featuring our latest evolution in Seed Germination, the SIT (Seed Incubation Table).

Here’s our January Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter features our latest change in the Greenhouse, and it’s a real innovaiton. Our retired aerospace engineer turned Aquaponics Systems Designer, Oliver Duffy, just keeps improving his designs never being satisfied to settle for almost great and certainly never following the pack. See what he’s up to now in this informative Newsletter.

Be Sure To Get The Ap For The
Catch all 4 Parts of Grace’s Series on the FOOD REVOLUTION!
The Aquaponics Digest Magazine features an advanced digital magazine and publishing and marketing platform for the 21st century; and it’s just getting started.
Click on the above Link to learn how/where to get the Ap for your iPhone and iPad.
Aquaponics Digest Magazine is a must read for any and all Aquaponics enthusiasts.
It features articles by the field’s leaders like:
Sylvia Bernstein
Aaron Woolf
Glenn Martinez
and our own,
Grace Sylke

Check Out OurTV Channel
We have several Videos on How To Do Aquaponics including two on installing our Food Forever Growing Systems in two schools in Tucson, AZ.

Don’t Miss OurPinterest Wall
It’s full of original Art by our Editor, Grace Sylke, including the lead Pixton Cartoon she created for this Newsletter.

Watch For the New Food Documentary,THE NEED TO GROW
It’s still in production but coming out soon. It features famous food activists like Jeffery Smith, Vandana Shiva and we’re in it. Click the Link and Check Out the Trailer.
Obesity in America Part 2


Dear Subscriber:
In December of  2014, we started this Series with Part 1 on Obesity In America.  If you’ve been wondering if we were ever going to get around to Part 2, it’s finally here. And now we’re realizing there are going to be at least four Parts to this new Series because this is a really important subject.
Once again, our Editor, Grace, had fun creating her Pixton comic depiction of an obese family; but Obesity is not a joking matter. In fact, it’s one of the most egregious things that’s happening in our country today.  And it’s main cause, High Fructose Corn Syrup, is worse than GMO’s, aspartame, monosodium glutamate and fluoride all of which will get their turn in this Series.
Obesity is a manufactured disease that has been unleashed on millions of us on purpose. What’s the purpose? Corporate greed, of course, coupled with our Government’s desire to continue to export one of the only things we still do export, which is food and that means releasing the scourge of obesity on the rest of the world because something is terribly wrong with our food production.
Our food is causing a health catastrophe and threatening to undo all of our gains in longevity statistics. In the U.S., nearly 1 of 5 deaths are associated with the Obesity epidemic; and the McKinsey Consulting Firm now estimates that almost half of the world’s population could be obese or overweight by 2030 if current trends continue.
To get the full impact of this Series, go back and check out Part 1, which emphasizes sugar consumption as a major contributor to the Obesity epidemic; but we must admit we were just looking at the tip of the iceberg when we wrote that Newsletter. To our credit, we explained we would be looking at one of the ubiquitous forms of sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, for Part 2; but at the time, we had no idea how full the can of worms we were about to open is.
Here’s The Awful Story

(Graph printed on the healthy grocery girl site)
In our research regarding High Fructose Corn Syrup known as HFCS, we have blown our own minds. We are now convinced that this additive, which is in all of our soft drinks and almost every processed food in our grocery stores, is the main cause of the Obesity epidemic; and our government agencies like the FDA and USDA are not regulating it in any way even though HFCS is killing us by the millions as it brings in millions for the Corn Producing and Processing Big Agri Corporations like Cargill and its national trade association, the Corn Refiners Association based out of Washington D.C.
If you click over to the Home Page of the Corn Refiners Association, you’ll see their “Who Are We” statement and within it they say this: “Corn refiners manufacturesweetenersethanol , starch, bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.” And therein lies the rub because:
The Corn Refiners Association proudly list their sweeteners, the number one among them being High Fructose Corn Syrup, HFCS, right next to Ethanol; but they don’t mention the well kept secret that the human body metabolizes this sweetener just like it metabolizes Ethanol, which is Alcohol. ” HFCS is Ethanol without the buzz.” (Quote taken from Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD’s YouTube presentation,  Sugar: The Bitter Truth. This entire section is a paraphrasing of Dr. Lustig’s YouTube presentation, which is below)
We all know Alcohol is a toxin in the body; and we have lots of regulations in place to keep people from toxing themselves out with it. Still thousands die of cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol poisoning and drunk driving because Alcohol is a poison to the body and the brain..
Unfortunately, most of us have no idea that an additive known as High Fructose Corn Syrup that is being placed in almost all of our processed foods and all of our sodas, acts like Alcohol in the body, is a toxic poison and is causing an epidemic of obesity in America and around the world.
In fact, HFCS is so deleterious to the brain that the brain loses its ability to determine that the fat cells in the body have been over worked and are satiated. The brain can’t communicate with the hormone, Leptin, which tells the brain, “I’m done eating”. That’s why obese people eat beyond their satiation point. Their stop eating button is broken because there is something wrong with the biochemical negative feedback system that normally controls energy balance. That something is the toxic poison called HFCS. (Information taken from Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD’s YouTube presentation,  Sugar: The Bitter Truth)
How Did Our American Food Get So Toxic and
Why Isn’t The FDA or the USDA Regulating HFCS?
This is a long story, which we’re going to tell here in a highly truncated version.
It all started with Ansel Keys, a famous American Scientist who studied the influence of diet on health. He lived to be 100 years old so something he was doing was working for him personally; but his Seven Countries Study has quite literally sent us all down a nutritional Dead End from which we have yet to recover.
“After observing in southern Italy the highest concentration of centenarians in the world, Keys hypothesized that a Mediterranean-style diet low in animal fat protected against heart disease and that a diet high in animal fats led to heart disease. The results of what later became known as the  Seven Countries Study appeared to show that serum cholesterol was strongly related to coronary heart disease mortality both at the population and at the individual level. As a result, in 1956 representatives of the American Heart Association appeared on television to inform people that  a diet which included large amounts of butter, lard, eggs, and beef would lead to coronary heart disease .” (Quote taken fromWikipedia)
By the early 80’s, this resulted in the American government recommending that people adopt a  low-fat diet in order to prevent heart disease and the American people were admonished to cut fat from 40% to 30% of their diet. Like good citizens, we did exactly that. However, there was a huge flaw in the Keys’ hypothesis. He only looked at the fat consumed by the people of these Seven Countries. He did not look at the sugar consumption in those countries. We have based 35 years of nutritional policy on a flawed study; and we have not looked back to correct or review this policy right up to the present day.
Our American food producers began to give us low fat products. It quickly became apparent that low fat processed food tasted a lot like cardboard so as the fat content went down, the carbohydrate and sugar contents went up. We substituted fat with the worst thing we could have done–high carbohydrates and lots of sugar; and we haven’t admitted the mistake nor have we corrected our course. Apparently, we think no one will notice the thousands of obese people living and dying prematurely in communities all over America and the planet as we continue to export this deadly food around the world.
HFCS came on the American scene in 1975; and this was the beginning of a perfect gastronomic storm, which Dr. Lustig calls “The Fructosification of America (and the World)”. High Fructose Corn Syrup offered a sweetener that was half the price of sugar; and it soon found its way into just about everything.
Why isn’t the FDA and the USDA regulating HFCS, which is a known toxin? The FDA stated in a document meant for the Tobacco Industry that they only regulate “acute” toxins. They do not regulate “chronic” toxins. “Acute” toxins kill you fast while “chronic” ones kill you slowly. The real reason that HFCS is not being regulated is we would be admitting that our multi-billion dollar food industry is producing toxic food that kills people and our food exports would plummet. So what’s the solution?
Look at your Labels! Unlike GMO’s (a topic for another Part of this Series), High Fructose Corn Syrup, HFCS, has to be listed on the label. When you find it, throw out the offending product and never purchase it again. HFCS has been associated with obesity, diabetes, gout, hypertension, cardiovascular and non-alcohol related fatty liver disease. When you consume it, you’re not consuming a carbohydrate, you’re consuming fat.
As long as we keep buying and eating HFCS, the corporate food producers will keep feeding it to us until every one of us is Obese. We have to revolt with our wallets to turn this ill directed food policy course in a healthy direction.
To keep up with the latest news about this important topic, follow the website SweetSurprise.com. It’s a watch dog site designed to keep us all informed about this scourge in our food system disguised as a food additive.

There Was A Time When Corn Was Nutritious And Innocent.

The history of corn is a fascinating one as it took thousands of years to transform maize from a wild grass called Teosinte that originally grew in Central America 7,000 years ago into the staple food we recognize as corn today.

Teosinte kernels were nothing like our modern corn. They were small and not fused together. Native Americans encouraged the formation of cobs on early maize by collecting and cultivating the Teosinte. Over several thousand years, cob length and size grew until it was possible for a family to produce food for the bulk of their diet for an entire year from a small area. This changed everything by allowing a family to live in one place and become farmers.

For many years, corn was a common starch and a staple food for millions around the world and especially in North America. Then in 1966 a Japanese scientist named Yoshiyuki Takasaki invented a way to turn corn into a form of sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup was born.

What’s The Difference Between Cane Sugar And High Fructose Corn Syrup That’s Being Called “Corn Sugar”?

In spite of all the hype that is designed to convince us there is no difference between natural cane sugar and HFCS, there IS a difference and it’s BIG! Cane sugar and the industrially produced corn sugar, HFCS, are not biochemically or physiologically the same. But it is the same old story they told us about GMO’s being identical to natural foods; and it’s another lie. Still, we need to understand that limiting cane sugar is almost as important as eliminating HFCS because they both contain the toxin, fructose.
“Then we need to realize that HFCS is an industrial food product, hence the barrel full of it. An industrial food product is far from natural and it’s also far from a naturally occurring substance. To get HFCS you have to extract the corn sugars through a chemical enzymatic process. This process is so secretive that the manufacturers, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill would not allow the investigative journalist, Michael Pollan, to observe it for his book, The Omnivore’s Delimma.
Some basic biochemistry will help you understand this. Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together–glucose and fructose in equal amounts. The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body.
HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose; and HFCS is cheaper than sugar because of the government’s Farm Bill Corn Subsidies. Products with HFCS are sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar”; and that made all the difference. (Quote taken from Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You)
The price of natural sugar went up as the price of corn went down; and the manufacturing of HFCS went parabolic. Since HFCS has fructose and glucose in an unbound form, “no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver. No other cells in the body have any use for it. It goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called none alcohol related “fatty liver” which affects 70 million obese people. When you consume fructose, you’re not really consuming a carbohydrate, you’re consuming fat.
“Glucose is innocent in this chemical stew. If you consume 120 calories of Glucose from two slices of white bread, 80% of those calories get used by the cells of the body. Glucose is the energy of life. 20% of those calories have to be processed by the liver where it is stored as Glycogen; and Glycogen is a non-toxic form of Glucose storage. We have a feedback loop between Glucose consumption, the liver, the pancreas and the brain to keep us in normal energy balance.” (Quote taken from Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD’s YouTube presentation, Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Fructose and Sucrose are a different story and both are toxins, fructose being the worst of the two. As you can see from the image below taken from Dr. Lustig’s YouTube presentation, Sucrose is sugar; and sugar is 50% Glucose and 50% Fructose. Based on what we described above regarding Glucose, half of sugar’s chemical make up is non-toxic Glucose. But the other half is Fructose, which is toxic to the body.

HFCS leads to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more. To learn more about this frightening subject like how our food system became so contaminated with this toxin, why nothing is being done about it and what you can do about it, watch Dr. Lustig’s YouTube presentation, Sugar: The Bitter Truth below:


We have used two doctors as our Sources for information regarding HFCS. If we don’t reference Dr. Lustig, we have gleaned our information from an article by Dr. Mark Hyman, MD entitled “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You”. Dr. Hyman conferred with Dr. Bruce Ames who did research on the subject of HFCS at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Dr. Ames informed Dr. Hyman “that free fructose from HFCS requires more energy to be absorbed by the gut and soaks up two phosphorous molecules from ATP, which is our body’s energy source.
This depletes the energy fuel source, or ATP, in our gut required to maintain the integrity of our intestinal lining. Little ‘tight junctions’ cement each intestinal cell together preventing food and bacteria from ‘leaking’ across the intestinal membrane and triggering an immune reaction and body wide inflammation.


High doses of free fructose have been proven to literally punch holes in the intestinal lining allowing nasty byproducts of toxic gut bacteria and partially digested food proteins to enter your blood stream and trigger the inflammation that we know is at the root of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and accelerated aging. Naturally occurring fructose in fruit is part of a complex of nutrients and fiber that doesn’t exhibit the same biological effects as the free high fructose doses found in corn sugar.” (Quote taken from Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You)



Fruit Juice Is Fructose and Fructose is Toxic!

And here’s something else we all need to understand regardless of how crazy it sounds. Fruit juice without the accompanying fiber of the natural fruit is a toxic brew of fructose, which should never be consumed in that fiberless form. That’s right. We should never drink fruit juice or serve it to our children because fructose without the fiber is a toxin. According to Dr. Lustig, “When God invented the poison, he packaged it in the antidote!” Feed your family lots of oranges; but never let them drink orange juice or any other fruit juice whether it’s organic, pure or sugar sweetened.

And It’s Even Worse Than We’ve Already Shared!

HFCS isn’t just a poison in its own right because it’s toxic to the body, “HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA. A FDA researcher [she deserves acknowledgment] asked corn producers to ship a barrel of high fructose corn syrup in order to test for contaminants. Her repeated requests were refused until she claimed she represented a newly created soft drink company. She was then promptly shipped a big vat of HFCS that was used as part of the study that showed that HFCS often contains toxic levels of mercury because of chlor-alkali products used in its manufacturing. Poisoned sugar is certainly not ‘natural’.
When HFCS is run through a chemical analyzer or a chromatograph, strange chemical peaks show up that are not glucose or fructose. What are they? Who knows? This certainly calls into question the purity of this processed form of super sugar. The exact nature, effects, and toxicity of these funny compounds have not been fully explained, but shouldn’t we be protected from the presence of untested chemical compounds in our food supply, especially when the contaminated food product comprises up to 15-20 percent of the average American’s daily calorie intake?”(Quote taken from Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You)

And Now For What’s Happening At Aquaponics USA. We’ve Updated Our Website and It’s Beautiful!

Complete with several pages of scrolling images of which this is one; and  it’s full of great information about Aquaponics. The more we write these Newsletters about our Food and our Food System, the more we realize that growing our own food is the only way to go.
It just stands to reason given what we now know about HFCS, we not only need to grow our own food, we need to can it and prepare it just like our Grandmothers used to do before Big Food took over.
Go to our new Aquaponics USA updated website, to get started growing your own Food.

This is the least expensive way to get one of our Food Forever? Growing Systems; and you can choose from three designs including our most popular modular Home & School model, the FFGS-20, pictured below.
When you purchase an Aquaponics USA Quick Kit, you get everything you need to built the exact model you choose except for the Table Tops and Stands. We send you detailed instructions on how to build the Table Tops where to get the stands, where to drill the holes in your Fish Tank and Grow Beds and how to assemble the finished system.
The Quick Kits are priced less than our fully built models; but where you save the most money is there are no Big Truck Freight charges. All the prices on the Quick Kit page include shipping.

Coming in June. It’s a Fast Food Culture!

In next Months Newsletter, we’re going to take a deep dive into our Fast Food Culture and why it’s contributing to our Obesity Epidemic. Don’t miss it.
Thank You for following our Newsletters. We so appreciate your interest in our two cutting edge Aquaponics Companies, Aquaponics USA and Aquaponics World, LLC. We’ll continue to bring you important information about Aquaponics, our Food and our Food System.
Please remember to  Forward this Newsletter to your colleagues, friends and family who are ready to learn and change the way we grow our food, distribute our food and want to keep track of the unhealthy additives being put in our food because we are what we eat.
Let’s turn the tables around and become the healthiest country on the planet instead of the sickest.
Aquaponics USA/World
This Blog Post is a Reprint of our May Newsletter, Obesity in America Part 2. If you wish to receive our Newsletters in your email box, just Subscribe using our Subscription Ling on our Aquaponics USA Home Page at http://www.aquaponicsusa.com.


Come and Sit at the FOOD REVOLUTION TABLE!

April 2015 Newsletter
Number 16
Table of Contents
Get our March 2015 Newsletter
Get our January 2015 Newsletter
Go to our TV Channel
Watch for the new Food Documentary, The Need To Grow
Celebrate EARTH DAY 2015
Make a Pledge for Meatless Monday
Grow Your Own Veggies in a Food Forever Growing System
Introducing Garvin’s Greens Geodesic Domes and Hoop Houses
Watch Planet Earth on Earth Day

A Word From Our Editor, Grace Sylke
Once again important and timely topics have usurped Part 2 of our new Series on “Obesity in America”. We promise, it’s coming soon.
We just had to acknowledge EARTH DAY and the FOOD REVOLUTION Summit, which are both happening this month.
Quick Links

Get Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters from our
Here they are all in one place. Our first year of News-letters full of incredible information about Aquaponics and our Food System.

Here’s our March Newsletter in case it was missed.
This is an informative look at all of the Food related Programs that we are running in the U.S. including who these programs serve and the costs of those services.

Here’s ourFebruary Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter is all about our enclosed growing and fish raising areas, which include our Growroom and Fishroom featuring our latest evolution in Seed Germination, the SIT (Seed Incubation Table).

Here’s ourJanuary Newsletter in case it was missed.
This Newsletter features our latest change in the Greenhouse and it’s a real innovation. Our retired aerospace engineer turned Aquaponics Systems Designer, Oliver Duffy, just keeps improving his designs never being satisfied to settle for almost great and certainly never following the pack. See what he’s up to now in this informative Newsletter.

Catch all 4 Parts of Grace’s Series on the FOOD REVOLUTION in the
The Aquaponics Digest Magazinefeatures an advanced digital magazine, publishing and marketing platform for the 21st century; and it’s just getting started.
Click on the above Link to learn how/where to get the Ap for your iPhone and iPad.
Aquaponics Digest Magazine is a must read for any and all Aquaponics enthusiasts.
It features articles by the field’s leaders like:
Sylvia Bernstein
Aaron Woolf
Glenn Martinez and our own,
Grace Sylke.

Check Out Our
We have several Videos on How To Do Aquaponics including two on installing our Food Forever Growing Systems in two schools in Tucson, AZ.

Don’t Miss OurPinterest Wall
It’s full of original Art by our Editor including all of the Pixton Cartoons she created for this Newsletter.

Watch for the new Food Documentary,THE NEED TO GROW
It’s still in production but coming out soon. It features famous food activists like Jeffery Smith, Vandana Shiva and we’re in it. Click the Link and Check Out the Trailer.
This is your Invitation to come and sit at the 


Dear Subscriber:
This Revolution is being waged by a group of incredible Revolutionaries who are biting down on the greatest threat to the well being of our country that has ever surfaced. They are gritting their teeth and going into the fray with everything they’ve got because they see no other way to keep our once great nation and our tough, individualistic point of view alive and well.
We’ve just declared April to be FOOD REVOLUTION Month in honor of the FOOD REVOLUTION Summitthat goes from April 25- May 3, 2015.
We don’t like being the bearer of bad news; but the truth is WE ARE AT WAR! It’s a war for our right to eat healthy, nutritious food that is not laden with pesticides, petrochemicals and GMO’s. It’s a war for our health, our lives and the health and lives of our children and grandchildren. And the sad truth is, WE ARE LOSING; and this loss is measured in lost lives.
According to an article on the Mercola.com website, “One in Five American Deaths [are] Now Associated with Obesity”. The article goes on to say that:
  • Obesity-related deaths include those from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, dementia, and depression because nearly all have metabolic dysfunction as a common underlying factor
  • The only effective way to reverse these trends is to make changes in your diet and lifestyle; drugs are definitely not the answer
(Note: This is one statistic taken from Part 2 of the Series on Obesity in America, which is coming in May)


Here comes the 4th Annual FOOD REVOLUTION Summit sponsored by John and Ocean Robbins who are Co-Fouders of the FOOD REVOLUTION Network and the Annual Summit.
This On-Line Information packed Summit is absolutely FREE to Attend so don’t miss the interviews with three of the world’s top healthy food activists, Jeffrey Smith, Michael Pollan and Vandana Shiva. You can also hear from food savy doctors like Neal Barnard, MD, and Joel Fuhrman, MD; and don’t miss Tony Robbins  and Paul McCartney talk about how healthy eating works for them in their busy lives.
If you missed our own informative 4 Part Series on the FOOD REVOLUTION, you can read it now by clicking over to our December 2014 Newsletter with Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters.


Earth Day is almost here again (unless you’ve already made every day Earth Day), which is highly recommended. In honor of this Day, we decided to give you a little history about this special day of acknowledgement for our beautiful little blue home in the Milky Way Galazy.
Earth Day has grown up over the years since it was first inaugurated in the U.S. in 1970. Today, it has an entire Network of workers behind it called the Earth Day Network. Back in 1970, Earth Day was the brain child of a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, (June 1916-July 2005) who lived to be 89.
Gaylord Nelson conceived of the idea for Earth Day”after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a ‘national teach-in on the environment’ to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes, [an environmental activist] as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. 

As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.


Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.


‘It was a gamble,’ Gaylord recalled, ‘but it worked.’ ” (Quote taken from the Earth Day Network website:History of a Movement)

To learn more about Gaylord and the Earth Day story go to Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day, the making of the modern environmental movement.


As mentioned above, Gaylord didn’t achieve this monumental feat alone. He teamed up with Denis Hayes, a young environmental activist, and together they launched that first 1970 Earth Day which became what is now the mother of many organizations and spin-off movements.

Together this dynamic duo along with a group of environmental leaders turned a U.S focused Earth Day into a worldwide event in 1990 “mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder”. (Quote taken from the Earth Day Network website: History of a Movement)

Denis Hayes went on to found the Earth Day Network and was named a Time magazine hero of the planet in 1999, shortly before he coordinated Earth Day 2000, the biggest Earth Day to that date. Hayes presently works at The Bullitt Foundation where he has served as President since 1992.


His newest book, COWED, was published this year, 2015, and is a treatise on “The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture and Environment”. It’s a must read.

To learn more about the history of Earth Day and one of its coordinators, Denis Hayes, go to an article by theDaily Kos.
If you happened to attend or witness Earth Day Celebrations over the weekend of April 18th and 19th, then you realize that it’s often celebrated on the weekend before or after the officially designated day, which is April 22nd. Some communities even celebrate all of April as Earth Month. This is a Day that has become so important it appears to have been placed on a sliding scale for celebratory purposes. There’s even a term called “Earth Overshoot Day” describing events happening after the official Earth Day.
And now there are a number of spin-off Movements associated with and promoted by The Earth Day Network including:
A BILLION ACTS OF GREEN: This is an International movement to protect the Planet and secure a sustainable future; and it’s being accomplished by ordinary people doing simple things like showering together to save water or by supporting and joining the many Sub-projects, Petitions, Pledges and Actions under The Billion Acts of Green umbrella including:
The Canopy Project: “The Canopy Project plants trees that help communities – especially the world’s impoverished communities – sustain themselves and their local economies. Trees reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help stave off the effects of climate change.” (Quote taken from the above Link)
The Climate Petition To Save The Planet: You can join the largest Climate Petition to save the world right here.
Support Environmental Education: “As of right now, the 2015 budget includes no funding for the National Environmental Education Act; important EPA grants; the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s) Bay-Watershed Edu-cation and Training Program and Environmental Literacy Grants; or the University Sustainability Program, among others.” There’s an easy form to fill out on this page to send this important message to your members of Congress. (Quote taken from above Link)
Use Less Energy: Save Money and the Environment! Did you know “the average American household spends more on home energy bills and gasoline than health care or property taxes”? Go to this page to “receive tailored tips for reducing your home energy use and see if you’re a good candidate for solar without having to call a solar installer”. (Quotes taken from the above Link)
Art and our Ecological Footprint: A Call for Submissions to “Footing the Bill”: “This is an invitational crowd-sourced exhibition of artwork addressing the urgent need to live sustainably within the Earth’s finite resources. Art Works For Change, along with Earth Day Network and Global Footprint Network, invite you to join the conversation on ecological overshoot. Submit a digital image of your original artwork (all visual mediums are welcome) for an opportunity to be featured in our online exhibition, which will open on Earth Overshoot Day 2015  in August.” (Quote taken from above Link)
More Actions and Pledges: This page lists a number of other Actions and Pledges you can take to become a part of The Billion Acts Of Green Movement.


Here’s one more project under the A BILLION ACTS OF GREEN Umbrella-it’s the Meatless Mondays Movement. Did you know that “producing one calorie of meat requires nearly twenty times the amount of energy as one plant calorie?” (Quote taken from below Link)
Join the millions who have taken the pledge to not eat meat one day a week and become a part of the Meatless Mondays Movement!

Grow Your Own Veggies in an Aquaponics USA Food Forever Growing System.

If you’re going to start eating less meat and more veggies, why not grow your own in an Aquaponics Food Growing System?
These Food Forever Growing Systems will grow food in enclosed areas using Grow Lights or in Greenhouses using the sun. This is one of our five tanks in our enclosed Fishroom where we’re raising about 150 Tilapia. These incredibly easy to raise food fish are fertilizing our 30’x8′ Greenhouse and our 30’x8′ Growroom where we are growing major amounts of lettuce, tomatoes, basil and other veggies.
Above is our Greenhouse growing 3 kinds of Lettuce. We’ve shown this photo before; but it’s worth repeating. Below is our Growroom growing lettuce underInduction Lights.
Sitting on the fish tank in the first image above is ourAutomatic Fish Feeder, which is the single most important item that makes raising our fish so easy and almost maintenance free.

Looking for a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse for your AP System? Introducing 

Kenny Garvin Jr. is the Owner/Operator of this growing Art of Backyard Growing Company that features custom built Geodesic Dome Greenhouses in a range of sizes. He also offers some of the most durable, wind resistant Hoop Houses you will ever see.
We recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours with him and his family at his company’s pristine location up in the White Mountains of Arizona where he showed us his nearly complete Demo Model of a 32′ Geodesic Dome Greenhouse sitting next to a 10′ Model.
Kenny uses an amazing new Greenhouse Plastic Film that has been popular in Europe for years; but has just become available in the U.S.
It’s called Polydress SolaWrap (with bubbles). “Known in Europe as LP Keder or Polydress, Polydress SolaWrap is now available in  U. S markets.  It’s an insulated film that withstands the most extreme climates.  SolaWrap has a track record for over 40 years of testing in the Swiss Alps, the Middle East, and across Europe. SolaWrap provides an insulating effect that retains up to 95% of heat radiation while providing an R-value of 1.7. This energy savings is significant!” (Quote taken from the above page)
This picture shows the massive amount of space available in his Geodesic Domes that range from  10′ up to 44′. Aquaponics Farmers would definitely want to take full advantage of the Vertical space in the larger models. These Domes are all custom built by a builder who has over 20 years of customer service experience.
His Hoop Houses are about as sturdy, steadfast and durable as a Hoop House could ever be. In his location, winds get up to 60 miles an hour on a regular basis so he had to design a Hoop House that was going to stay put and intact.
And that’s exactly what this Hoop House will do. There is nothing flimsy about this reinforced iron, foam wrapped Hoop House design.
Here Oliver, Kenny and little Kenny are testing out the sturdiness of this amazing Hoop House; and it doesn’t budge.
Kenny’s goal is to provide the people he serves with a healthier more self sufficient lifestyle while making them happy, life-long customers.
To Order your custom built Geodesic Dome or Made For the Wind Hoop House, just give Kenny at Garvin’s Greens a call: 928-2400-421or email him at:
Tell him Grace & Oliver sent you.

Watch the BBC Documentary, Planet Earth Episode 1 From Pole to Pole 

Planet Earth Episode 1 From Pole to Pole - BBC Documentary
Planet Earth Episode 1 From Pole to Pole – BBC Documentary
In honor of our up-coming Earth Day, we wanted to share this incredible documentary from 2006. This is the first of 11 Episodes of awesome beauty. Five years in the making, it was the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC and also the first to be filmed in  high definition. To see more Episodes, just go to Planet Earth on You Tube.
Thank you for following our Newsletters. We love bringing them to you month after month. Please remember to Forward this email to friends and family who are ready to learn and change the way we grow our food  and distribute our food. We are what we eat. Let’s turn the tables around and become the healthiest society on the planet.
Aquaponics USA/World
This is a reprint of our April Newsletter. If you would like to Subscribe to our Newsletters and get them in your mailbox, just go to our Home Page at http://www.aquaponicsusa.com and scroll down to our Subscription Section. We would love to have you join the growing group of food and health minded people who are ready to change our Food System.


March is National Nutrition Month! So Let’s Talk About How the USDA is providing Nutrition to our population.

March Newsletter Cover 2

March is our National Nutrition Month; but, unfortunately, most of us don’t know it. We have to confess that until we started writing this Blog post, we didn’t realize it either; and we’re in the nutritious food business.

Because it’s National Nutrition Month, we’re once again post-poning our Series on “Obesity in America” to celebrate and inform our readers about all of the Food related Programs that we are running in the U.S. including who these programs serve and the costs of those services.

But before we go there, we want to point out our original cartoons by our Marketing Director, Grace Sylke who is loving her new Pixton.com software. If you want to see them bigger or share them, go to our Pinterest Page.

Here is one of the Best National Programs we’ve got going; and it needs your Support.



“Farm to School is a program in the United States through which schools buy and feature locally produced, farm-fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, meat, and beans on their menus. Schools also incorporate nutrition-based curriculum and provide students with experiential learning opportunities such as farm visits, gardening, and recycling programs. As a result of Farm to School, students have access to fresh, local foods, and farmers have access to new markets through school sales. Farmers are also able to participate in programs designed to educate kids about local food and agriculture.”
(Quote taken from Wikipedia)

This program started in 1996, and was fueled by “the desire to support community-based food systems, strengthen family farms and improve student health by reducing childhood obesity”. (Wikipedia) The plan was based on a triple win situation; and it was spearheaded with pilot projects in California through the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School System and The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, which was created by the famous food activist, Alice Waters. (To learn more about Alice Waters, go to our Food Revolution Part 2 Series in our May 2014 Newsletter featuring the Revolutionaries)

This program is now almost 20 years old, and it’s still going strong. Below, are some statistics that describe how effective this program was in the 2011-2012 school year based on a Census taken in 2013. A second Census is being conducted this year.

FNS Main Story Infographic

In 2014, the USDA issued approximately $5 million in Farm to School Grants to help school districts across the country further develop their farm to school programming.

Support Farm to School

In 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed. It’s a Federal Statute that was signed into law by President Obama as part of the reauthorization of funding for child nutrition in the original Child Nutrition Act passed in 1966. The Farm to School Program is a Grant Program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. To learn more about the original act enacted in 1966, click the above link. During the signing of the original act, then president, Johnson, remarked that “good food is essential to good learning.”

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act funds child nutrition programs and free lunch programs in schools for 5 years and continues through 2015. In addition, the bill sets new nutrition standards for schools, and allocates $4.5 billion for their implementation. More on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act below.

The Farm to School Program is allocated a mere $5 million of the nearly $36 billion (that’s a “B” for billion) dollar child nutrition five year funding budget. They have partnered with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to establish stronger Farm to School priorities in the 2015 reauthorization of the original Child Nutrition Act, and they are pushing for an additional $100 million in funding over the next decade.

If there were ever a program that deserves more funding, it’s this one because it’s so inclusive of both children, farmers and local communities. There are two bills representing this program. Click on the Bills to follow their progress. Both Bills were referred to Committee on February 25th, 2015.

S. 569 and H.R. 1061

Please communicate with your Senators and Congressional Representative to help get them passed.

Here’s another incredible National Program that warrants your support.


Feeding America Logo

We first learned about FEEDING AMERICA when we went to Tucson, AZ in late 2011 to install three of our Aquaponics USA Food Forever Growing Systems in three elementary schools there.

We did an Interview with the Lead on that project, Zotero Citilacoatl who was the Youth Farm Project Manager for the Community Food Resource Center of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. We were new in the field of food and agriculture, so we had no idea that the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank was being supported by FEEDING AMERICA until we did that interview.

In many ways, we are very beholden to FEEDING AMERICA because it was that organization that funded the Grant that purchased those first three Food Forever School Growing Systems that we sold. We are now selling most of our Growing Systems to schools all over the U.S. To learn more about our School Growing Systems, go to our webpage that describes our School Packages and Pricing structure.

FEEDNG AMERICA leads our nation in the fight against hunger through it’s nationwide network of Food Banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community-based agencies.

Food Bank

FEEDING AMERICA has had a long history and a different name. It all started with John van Hengel.


John lived from February 21,1923 until October 5, 2005; and after he took a vow of poverty as a devout Roman Catholic and started working at Immaculate Heart Church in Phoenix, Arizona in the late 60’s, he began to solicit unwanted food for the poor from grocery stores, local gardens and nearby produce farms. These efforts led to the creation of the first Food Bank in the world, which was located in Phoenix, Arizona and called the St. Mary’s Food Bank in 1967. “In addition he worked for many years as a consultant to U.S. cities starting their own food banks. He also traveled the world teaching other countries how to set up food banks which are now in operation throughout Europe and in many other countries, including Israel, Australia and Mexico.” (Quote taken from the Find A Gravewebsite)

In 1975, St. Mary’s was given a federal grant to assist in developing Food Banks across the nation. This organization became America’s Second Harvest with Mr. van Hengel in charge. America’s Second Harvest merged with Foodchain, another food distribution charity.

Then in May of 2007, the American Idol TV Program named America’s Second Harvest as the recipient of the Idol Gives Back Charity Program and the company was put on the map. They changed their name to FEEDING AMERICA in 2008. Since then, several high profile people and companies have adopted FEEDING AMERICA including Bob Dylan in 2009 with an announcement by Columbia Records that all U.S. royalties from his Christmas in the Heart album would go to FEEDING AMERICA in perpetuity.

Today, Tony Robbins, the well known motivational speaker, is supporting a 100 Million Meals Challenge, and he’s inviting us all to help match his gift of 50 million meals to FEEDING AMERICA so, together, we can provide 100 million meals for the 49 million Americans who struggle with hunger. When combined with Tony’s gift, every $1 you give helps secure and distribute 20 meals through the FEEDING AMERICA network of food banks.

If you’re being called to contribute, just go to FEEDING AMERICA and join Tony’s 100 Million Meals Challenge.

What’s happening with Nutrition in the USDA?


Our USDA is supporting a number of beneficial Nutritional Programs beyond the Farm to School Program. Some of these programs are serviced based on age and ethnicity. Others like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as Food Stamps, service a broad swath of our nation’s population. So let’s start with one of the children’s programs:

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)

Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program

“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) was authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. The pilot program began in 4 states and 1 Indian Tribal Organization (Zuni, New Mexico).

The purpose of the pilot was to determine the best practices for increasing fruit (both fresh and dried) and fresh vegetable consumption in schools.

As a result of the Program’s popularity, the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (more on WIC below) added 4 more states (Pennsylvania, Mississippi, North Carolina, Washington), 10 schools in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, and 8 schools in Arizona’s Tribal Council (3 schools in the Gila River Pima Community and 5 schools in the Tohono O’odham Community).

The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2006, Public Law 109-97, appropriated money to expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to include: Utah, Wisconsin, New Mexico (25 schools), Texas, Connecticut, and Idaho. The Farm Bill amended the National School Lunch Act by eliminating section 18(f) and adding section 19, the FFVP and provided significant changes from the previous program.

The Program is now Nation-wide in selected schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.” (Quote taken from USDA webpage on the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program )

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

Food Distribution to Indian Rez

This is an idillic representation of an Indian Reservation with ceremonial teepees set up to honor the food. There are 310 Native American Reservations in the U.S. and typically, many of America’s poorest people reside in them. When we speak about 3rd World and Developing Countries, we are also speaking about these Sovereign Nations, which constitute 3rd World Countries within our borders. Thank goodness, there’s a program designed to pick up those Native Americans who do not have access to the larger, all inclusive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program commonly known as (SNAP).

“Low-income American Indian and non-Indian households that reside on a reservation and households living in approved areas near a reservation or in Oklahoma that contain at least one person who is a member of a Federally-recognized tribe, are eligible to participate in FDPIR.

Households are certified based on income standards set by the Federal government and must be recertified at least every 12 months. Elderly and disabled households may be certified for up to 24 months. Households may not participate in FDPIR and SNAP in the same month.

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the USDA, administers FDPIR at the Federal level. The program is administered locally by either Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) or an agency of a State government. Currently, there are approximately 276 tribes receiving benefits under FDPIR through 100 ITOs and 5 State agencies.” (Quote taken from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Nutrition Program Fact Sheet)

The Meals on Wheels Program

Meals On Wheels #2

Without the Meals On Wheels Program many of our Senior Citizens would starve. “Meals on Wheels operates in virtually every community in America through a network of more than 5,000 independently-run local programs. While the diversity of each program’s services and operations may vary based on the needs and resources of their communities, they are all committed to supporting their senior neighbors to live healthier and more nourished lives in their own homes.

Meals On Wheels galvanizes the resources of local community organizations, businesses, donors, sponsors and more than two million volunteers – bolstered by supplemental funding from the Older Americans Act – into a national safety net for our seniors. Meals on Wheels ensures that seniors have access to adequate nutrition even when family support, mobility and resources are lacking.

For seniors who are mobile and attending Senior Centers and other gathering places, Meals On Wheels also delivers to many of those community gathering places.

This amazing service for our Seniors not only drops off daily nutritious meals, it offers seniors the opportunity to visit with a friendly, caring person who is also doing a safety check to mitigate against the risks of medical emergencies, falls and other accidents.

Meals On Wheels is partially supported by the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965, which was the first federal level initiative aimed at providing comprehensive services for older adults and was passed as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiative.” (Quote taken from Meals On Wheels America)

Within the last two years, there has been a movement in Congress spearheaded by Senator Bernie Sanders to Reauthorize the OAA. Two Bills were created. Senate Bill S.1562: Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2014 was not enacted in 2014 and the House of Representatives Bill, H.R. 4122, by the same name was referred to Committee on Feb. 28, 2014. This was the last action on the Bill.

Let’s show our support for Reauthorizing these two Bills and getting them passed in 2015 as our elder Boomers remain the largest segment of our population and will need more Meals On Wheels.

To follow these Bills, go to GovTrack.us.

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)

Senior Farmers' Mkt. Nutrition Program

This is an interesting USDA Program focused on Seniors. It’s the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).

“The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) awards grants to States, U.S. Territories, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs.

The SFMNP is administered by State agencies such as the State Department of Agriculture or the Agency on Aging.

The purposes of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program are to:

(1) Provide resources in the form of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs from farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs to low-income seniors,
(2) Increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding or aiding in the expansion of domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs, and
(3) Develop or aid in the development of new and additional farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.” (Quote from USDA Overview of the Program)

Like Farm to School, this program benefits both the recipient of the vouchers as well as the sellers of the fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs. It’s another win/win program that supports everyone involved.

USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


No line up of USDA Food Assistance Programs would be complete without listing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program now known as SNAP and formerly known as Food Stamps.

“SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits. FNS also works with State partners and the retail community to improve program administration and ensure program integrity.” (Quote from the USDA website on SNAP )

As of the last count, which was October 2014, there were 46,674,364 Americans on SNAP, which constitutes 14.6 percent of the 318,857,056 people in our popu-lation. Households on food stamps got an average benefit of $261.44 during the month, and total benefits for the month cost taxpayers nearly $6 billion. That’s $6 billion per month, which would be $72 billion per year. (Statistics from an on-line publicly supported news website, CNS NEWS )

“Close to 70 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter are in households with seniors or people with disabilities.

After unemployment insurance, SNAP is the most responsive federal program providing additional assistance during economic downturns. It also is an important nutritional support for low-wage working families, low-income seniors, and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes.

The federal government pays the full cost of SNAP benefits and splits the cost of administering the program with the states, which operate the program.” (Quote taken from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Being the best known and the largest food assistance program out there, often places SNAP in the crossfires of criticism; and many believe it is being over used and under managed allowing for abuse and fraud. Nevertheless, this program has been and continues to be a god-send to many Americans in need of food assistance.

All About the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act

Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act

This Act was passed in 2010 as part of the reauthorization of funding for child nutrition (see the original Child Nutrition Act). It’s focal point is improving child nutrition; and it serves to set policy for the USDA’s core child nutrition programs including the:

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
School Breakfast Program (SBP)
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
Farm to School Grant Program
(Quote from USDA website School Meals, Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act)

Except for the WIC Program and the Farm to School Grant Program, we are not going into detail regarding each of these programs. For more information, click on the above Links to see what each of these programs entails.

In March of 2010, “the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that implementing this bill would have discretionary costs of $35.9 billion over the 2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.” Most of these costs are for the reauthorization of WIC, which received an appropriation of $7.3 billion in fiscal year 2010 and would, therefore, need at the very least 5 times that for the designated 5 year period of 2011-2015 period. (Quote taken from the Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate dated March 24, 2010)

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act has nothing to do with the SNAP Program and is a separate expenditure that is focused on children except in the case of Adult Care Facilities where Adults are being serviced.

That means that between the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and the SNAP Program, the USDA is spending nearly $80 billion annually to provide nutrition for people in need.

The Women Infants and Children Program (WIC)

Women Infants and Children

“In 1974, WIC was established as a permanent program to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants and children up to the age of 5 who are at nutritional risk.

This mission is carried out by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition education (including breastfeeding promotion and support), and referrals to health and other social services.

WIC benefits are not limited only to food. Participants have access to a number of resources, including health screening, nutrition and breastfeeding counseling, immunization screening and referral, substance abuse referral and more.” (Quote taken from USDA website page on the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program)

WIC recipients become eligible for this program based on their annual income and must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines as of the revised guidelines effective from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.(Information gleaned from the USDA website page on the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program)

There was a rather shocking group of statistics put out by the USDA in 2010 as part of their State-Level Estimates of Infants and Pre-School-Age Children at or Below 185 Percent of Poverty. These stats compare 2009 to 2010 and show that almost every state had rising numbers of children in this category. It appears that the recession that was triggered by the pop of the housing bubble in 2008 among other things has plunged more households at or below 185 percent of poverty.

“WIC is not an entitlement program as Congress does not set aside funds to allow every eligible individual to participate in the program. WIC is a Federal Grant Program for which Congress authorizes a specific amount of funds each year for the program. Based on the 2010 figure, WIC annual cost is around $7 billion; and it is the most costly program in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Program Group.

WIC is:
1. Administered at the Federal level by FNS
2. Administered by 90 WIC state agencies, through approximately 47,000 authorized retailers.
3. WIC operates through 1,900 local agencies in 10,000 clinic sites, in 50 State health departments, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, the District of Columbia, and five territories (Northern Mariana, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands)”
(Quote taken from USDA website page Wic at a Glance)

Currently, WIC serves a staggering 53% of all infants born in the United States. This means that over half of the children born in the U.S. need Nutritional support by the government; and this is another example of how fragile our economy is post the 2008 crash.

In Conclusion:

Dinosaur with Hard Hat

In conclusion, we have to say that as we wrote this month’s Newsletter, we really learned a lot. We had no idea about how many different Nutrition Programs are being funded and how much those programs cost.

We’ve seen comparisons regarding the percentage Americans spend on food out of their annual incomes compared to other countries; and those figures show that we spend so much less.


But now we’re wondering if these statistics are taking into account how much the U.S. Government, via it’s tax payers, is spending on Nutrition.

Maybe if we took the nearly $80 billion that is being spent annually by the USDA and divided it up among all of the taxpayers and then did the comparison again, we’d get a higher percentage number spent on Food in the U.S. We’re pretty sure those billions aren’t reflected in the above graph.

On the other hand, we spent $799.8 billion on our Defense Budget in fiscal year 2014. There’s another mind blowing number for you. We’re actually spending almost 10 times more on Defense than we’re spending on Food for the needy.

Bottom line, we have to feed our people in need; and we need to defend all of us so relax and enjoy this last day of Nutrition Month.

Thank You for following our Blog. We hope you enjoyed reading this one as much as we enjoyed doing the research and bringing you this information.

P.S. Remember to tell your friends and family who want to learn more about our Food System or who are interested in Aquaponics to check out our Blog. If you’d like to see this Blog Post as a monthly Newsletter, go to our March 2015 Newsletter, Number 15.


Aquaponics USA/World

Inside our Fishroom and Growroom

February 2015 Newsletter
Number 14
Table of Contents (first 7 are Sidebars)
A Word From Our Editor, Grace Sylke
Don’t miss our Pinterest Wall
Read our January 2015 Newsletter
Read our December 2014 Newsletter
The New To Grow
Visit our Aquaponics USA/World TV Channel
Happy Valentines Day, Yesterday!
All About Planting Seeds
Visiting the Tilapia Nursery
The 80º Vertical System Two Weeks Later

A Word from our Editor, Grace Sylke
We’ve once again delayed Part 2 of our new Series on“Obesity in America”to bring you this update about what’s been happening in our Fishroom and Growroom. You’re even getting a tutorial on how to start your own seeds from scratch.

Be Sure To Check Out Our Aquaponics World Pinterest Wall
Pinterest keeps growing like the weeds that are NOT in our Aquaponics Grow Beds. You can share your favorite images on a Wall you create. We recently created a Wall of Lettuce. Walls are Walls. We love sharing our Lettuce and Pinterest Walls.

It’s all about our ever changing Greenhouse and our newly installed 80º Vertical Food Forever™ Farm Growing System.

Get Access to all of our 2014 Newsletters from our December 2014 Newsletter, which is Part 1 of the Series, “Obesity In America”
All of our 2014 Newsletters are Linked Up in our December 2014 Newsletter. We don’t only talk about Aquaponics. We talk about important issues relating to our Food System like the “Food Revolution, Parts 1-4”, “The Organic Industry In The U.S. Parts 1-3” and other important Food System topics.

Watch For the new Food Documentary,The Need To GROW
This documentary, which is still in production is all about The Need To Grow healthy, local food and the need to change how we regard agribusiness turning it into “an ecological system that includes all of humankind, all the animals, the rivers, the oceans, and the microbes–rather than an industry artificially cut-off from nature.”
Quote take from The Need To Grow website.
Oh, and We’re In It.Click on the Trailer from the Home Page.

Go To Our

Aquaponics USA/ Aquaponics World TV Channel

Today we have 2,037 Subscribers and 343,801 Views. You’ll enjoy seeing what we’ve been doing since we started Aquaponics USA in 2009. It’s amazing how fast this field is growing. Watch for our up-coming Video of our new 80º Vertical System in our Greenhouse. We’ll show you how easy it is to harvest this new system.
Coming in early April.

Yesterday. Hope you Made it a Good One!
Valentines Day comes around every year. To some it’s a really special un-Holiday. To others it’s a day of remembering when it was special and you were with the one you loved. How about making it a “Love Everyone & Everything Day”. Now that’s special! Heck, let’s do that Everyday!
And don’t forget your fish.

This Paper is a must read for anyone interested in Food & Health. It’s a Daily so you can start your day taking in some of the most important information about these two important topics all sorted and gathered right out of the web for you.

Our Monthly Special
This cylindrical 4″ Airstone has a 2″ Diameter and is the best Air Stone we have found yet. It really pumps out the air; and we are now using it in all of our Fish Tanks.
For February through March 15, we’re offering this Air Stone with a 10% Discount exclusively to our Newsletter Subscribers. Just give us a call prior to ordering so we can lock in your Discount.
Inside our Fishroom & Growroom
 Where Things Are Moving Along Swimmingly

Dear Subscriber:
We’ve once again post-poned our Series on “Obesity in America” to focus on what’s happening with our Aquaponics Micro Food Forever™ Farm over here in the High Desert of California. This is a small Demonstration Farm built so we could do R&D on our system designs, learn what works and what doesn’t work before we put these sustainable, organic Farms into the marketplace.
Our January Newsletter, which you can read here, was all about our Greenhouse and the cutting edge new 80º Vertical System we recently installed within it. So we decided to make this Newsletter about the rest of our Micro Food Forever™ Farm, which are the enclosed areas that include our Fishroom and Growroom.
Food Forever™ Farms can grow vegetables and food fish in Greenhouses or Warehouses so we are demonstrating Aquaponics food growing technology in both of those environments.

Here’s Our Latest Evolution in Seed Germination

We were having a heck of a time getting our seeds to germinate past a certain size. They would sprout, grow and then when they got to be about one inch high, they would start to croak. We put them in the Greenhouse under natural Light. We put them in the Growroom under fluorescents and then LED’s; but the same thing kept happening. It was a real mystery.
We were able to save most of our seedlings; but we were being forced to plant them into the Growroom or Greenhouse Systems while they were very small causing them to take up precious grow out space for way longer than necessary.
Above, you see our solution and it’s working like a charm. This is a Shallow Flood & Drain Grow Bed full of seedlings. We’re calling it our Seed  Incubation Table (SIT™); and are having fun with the acronym because it’s all about putting them in the Bed and then comes the “Sit and Wait” part of the process. We quite literally don’t have to do another thing as the seedlings are being automatically watered with the system water, which eliminates daily watering.
This new system even allowed us to leave our sprouted seedlings in the SIT™ for longer than they needed to be there while we finished building our new 80º Vertical System.
While we’re talking about seeds, let’s go through a little lesson on how to plant them. You need a few things to germinate seeds starting with a Seed Starter Kit, which we sell on our Aquaponics USA website.
So the next question is what do you do with the Kit? You take the Seed Tray and the Seed Planting Cube with 98 Seed sites and soak them in your bath tub or in a tray that is deep enough to cover them with water.
But this is not ordinary water. This water has to have a pH of 5.5. Now we need to go further into the chemistry weeds on this subject because we need to explain what the heck is pH?


The “H” in pH stands for Hydrogen and the “p” stands for the power of that Hydrogen–the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. That Hydrogen concentration is very important for living things because Hydrogen ions are positively charged and can, therefore, alter the charge environment of other molecules in a solution by putting a force on the molecule causing it to change its normal shape. For a protein molecule this is crucial because the shape of a protein is related to its function. A low pH count corresponds to a high hydrogen ion concentration and a high pH count corresponds to a low hydrogen ion concentration. A substance that when added increases the concentration of hydrogen ions (lowers the pH) is called an acid; and a substance that decreases the concentration of hydrogen ions (raises the pH) is called a base. There are also substances that enable solutions to resist pH changes when an acid or base is added. These substances are called buffers. Buffers help organisms maintain a relatively constant pH.  Pure water is considered neutral with a pH of 7. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are said to be basic or alkaline.
Tilapia prefer a pH range of 7-8, which is on the alkaline side of the scale. But most Aquaponic farmers keep their pH levels between 6.8 and 7.0, which is a compromise for the fish and the plants as the plants prefer a more acidic environment. Drastic shifts in either direction can be lethal to both the fish and the plants. So watching pH levels is very important in aquaponics.

So that means you also need to have a pH Meter, which it just happens we also sell on our site.
You start by calibrating your meter according to the instructions on the box. Then you measure what the pH is of your water as it comes out of your faucets. Your goal is to soak your Seed Cube in a pH environment of 5.5, which means you need to start your seeds in an acidic environment.
If your water is alkaline, meaning it has a natural pH of 7 or above, you have to make it acidic; and you do this by adding good old Distilled White Vinegar.
You carefully add the vinegar while watching your pH Meter until it goes to 5.5 and stays there. Then you place your seed tray with the seed cube into the water and let it soak for about a half hour.
Once your tray has soaked up the 5.5 pH water, you take it to the location where you’re going to plant your seeds into it; and perform a simple final act before doing that. You take a pen or pencil and open the holes in the cube so you can easily place your seeds into them.
I have my Humble Seed packages ready to be planted into the Seed Cube. We sell these great seeds on our website. Humble Seed’s premium herb, fruit, and vegetable seeds are packaged in re-sealable Mylar® bags then themed and bundled in FDA food-safe containers.
Once you get your seeds planted into the Seed Cube, you need to label them so you know what’s what when you plant them into your Grow Beds. We use large popsicle sticks that you can get in the Craft Deptartment of Walmart. We cut them so they don’t obstruct the humidifying dome when it’s placed onto the tray. We used a different Brand of Seeds here because it’s easy to see them in their seed sites. The company that sells these seeds is called Parmount Seeds; and they specialize in seeds for large Greenhouse operations.
The final step of seed planting is finding the perfect location for your seeds to sprout. You can actually leave them indoors in the dark for a couple of days before you place them in the sun or under Grow Lights. We’ve tried a lot of different places and lighting to start and grow our seeds ending up with the new SIT™ solution that is working so well for us.
But if you don’t have an aquaponics set up that warrants it’s own Flood & Drain Table, you can place them on a shelf in your Greenhouse, in an empty Grow Bed, on a table under a Grow Light or even on a window seat that gets lots of sunlight.
In this photo, we’re sprouting our seeds using Seed Kits with 6″ Humidifying Domes placed inside an empty Deep Media Bed in our Greenhouse. At that time, we were demonstrating 60º Vertical Growing instead of the 80º Vertical Growing we’re now demonstrating. Later, we moved that Grow Bed over to the other side of the Greenhouse where it’s growing 3 incredible Tomato Plants today and built a sprouting shelf where it sits.
In this photo we’re sprouting our very first batch of seeds to plant in the five Deep Media Grow Beds we originally installed in our Greenhouse. These seedling trays started with 3 inch tall Humidifying Domes and went to 6 inch Domes. A few days before planting, we simply removed the Domes because the seedlings got too tall for them.
And in this photo we’re using an LED Grow Light and a portable table to sprout our seeds. Believe me, we’ve tried it all; and finally landed on what we described above as our SIT™ system.
Notice the spray bottle under the table on the left. If you don’t have a self watering SIT™ set up for your seeds, you’ll need to hand spray them using system water a couple of times a day until you plant them.

So Let’s Go Into Our Fishroom where the Valentine’s Mood is flourishing.

In this room, we have five 120 gallon Fish Tanks with about 200 Tilapia including the fingerlings. Fingerlings are fast and skiddish so photographing them is a bit of a challenge. We would like to actually get them out of this tank and place them in a our new Fingerling Aquarium, which will sit on the wall next to the one above them; but that, too, is a major challenge as it would involve stressing every fish in the tank to capture them. Oliver often says he believes fingerlings have “Transporter Technology” as they seem to be able to traverse the tank in zero time. We do our best to not stress our fish as stressed fish easily become subject to disease and premature death.
Below is a photo of our installed Fingerling Aquarium, however these fish have grown past finger size and would more appropriately be called hand size.
This Aquarium is bolted to the wall at one end of the Fishroom; and we plan to add one or two more as we get more fry. You can see that the system water is running right through this aquarium as we learned a sad lesson when we tried to raise a couple hundred fingerlings in their own separate system with a small Grow Bed that wasn’t sufficient for their water filtration needs.
The two knobs you see at the top right are attaching theAutomatic Fish Feeder to the aquarium; and it looks like these guys have just been fed as they’re all gathered at the drop location.
In the photo below, we were actually able to get a shot of the fingerlings before they transported off camera.
We actually managed to sneek up on five of them. To give you an idea of how tiny they are, in the foreground is the tail of an adult Tilapia in their tank. These five aren’t even the size of a finger as their name indicates. If/when we take them out of this tank, we can’t put them in the Aquarium pictured above because the young Tilapia are protein lovers and carnivores and these little guys would be devoured. The large Tilapia, their progenitors, in this tank aren’t so interested in a new protein source so they leave them alone. They live on algae and Fingerling Crumble, which we sell on our Aquaponics USA website.

Back to our Greenhouse for a Quick Peek 
at what happened in the 2 Weeks since we sent out our January Newsletter.

The 3 kinds of Lettuce we planted into our new 80º Vertical System has grown out and is almost ready for harvest. What a sight it is to see. This is a 16 foot long wall of lettuce so thick you can no longer see the ducts that it’s growing in.
And there’s a Chef down in Palm Springs who can’t wait to get his hands on this pesticide free, organic lettuce. His name is Scott and he owns New Leaf Catering so if you’re in the area and have an event coming up, be sure to visit his website.

We Have a Great Daily Newspaper. It’s the . . .

If you want to keep up on what’s happening in the Food & Health World, just Subscribe to the Aquaponics USA Food & Health News. It’s a Daily Paper full of important articles, recipes and the latest scientific research on both Food and Health.

Consumer Alert!

A new company has just joined the dark side with Monsanto & Friends to get a GMO Apple approved by the Federal Government. The FDA has yet to weigh in; but it’s looking like a slam dunk. This is the Okanagan Company; and they are under the misguided opinion that we need an apple that doesn’t brown or bruise when it’s cut open.
What we need are healthy, wholesome Organic Apples and not more Franken Food by ego maniacs who think they can create nutritious food better than Mother Nature. Go to Politico to read the article announcing this sad day of birthing the poison apple for innocent, unaware consumers who aren’t allowed to know those apples are GMO because there is no mandatory labeling.
We got so disturbed by this diabolical announcement, we had to create three images to spread the word. All of these images are on our Aquaponics World Pinterest Wall so PLEASE have at them and spread this Consumer Alert far and wide.
These poison apples are not on the market yet. Maybe if we scream loudly enough, Okanagan will realize they took a wrong turn when they came to the fork in the road; and they followed the fork that leads to their destruction.
Thank you so much for following our Newsletters. We hope you had a happy, romantic and fun-filled Valentines Day.
If you’re a Pinterest Fan, you can find several of these photos on our Aquaponics World Pinterest Wall. So have fun sharing them. And if you’re just discovering our Newsletters, you can get Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters by clicking over to our December 2014 Newsletter. You can also read our January 2015 Newsletter here.
And don’t forget to Forward this Newsletter to your colleagues, friends and family who care about our Food System and how we’re growing our food.
Aquaponics USA/World
Get your 10% Discount on any of our Food Forever™ Growing systems from Aquaponics USA!
This Offer is good until April 1st, 2015. 



Aquaponics World Keeps Changing Everything

January 2015 Newsletter
Aquaponics USA/World             
Lucky Number 13
Table of Contents


Our 60º Vertical Duffy Duct System for Greenhouses


A 60º Vertical Wall growing Red Oak Leaf Lettuce


We did it again. Tore everything (except the Deep Media Beds) out of the Greenhouse


Back to the drawing board to build 7 ft. 80º Vertical Ducts


It’s a Trough alright; but not for a Raft System


The Drawing of the new 80º Vertical System


The Drawing Program that made it all possible–Artboard


The finished 80º Vertical Duffy Duct System


Moving Lettuce from Stage one Grow Out to Stage Two Grow Out


The 80º Vertical Duffy Duct System planted


A Word from our Editor, Grace Sylke
We’ve delayed Part 2 of our new Series on“Obesity in America” to bring you this informative Newsletter about what’s been happening in our Greenhouse. Actually, it’s a brief history of that ever changing Greenhouse.

Don’t miss our Aquaponics World
Pinterest is growing in leaps and bounds. It’s a fun way to share your favorite images on the web. We’ve got some great ones to share.

It has Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters. We don’t only talk about Aquaponics. We talk about important issues relating to our Food System like the “Food Revolution, Parts 1-4”, “The Organic Industry in the U.S, Parts 1-3” and other important Food System topics.

Go To Our
We have some really popular and informative YouTube Videos up on our TV Channel; and we’ll be doing a new one on our 80º Vertical System real soon.
     Aquaponics World, LLC
    Just Keeps Changing Everything

Dear Subscriber:
If you’ve been following our progress over the years since we first came onto the Aquaponics scene in early 2009, you already know we’re innovators. Our retired aerospace engineer turned Aquaponics Systems Designer, Oliver Duffy, just keeps improving his designs never being satisfied to settle for almost great and certainly never following the pack.
We started our Aquaponics journey as backyard Deep Media system designers, which we are still doing through our Aquaponics USA company that sells Deep Media Home and School Systems. In those days our Greenhouse looked like this with five Deep Media Beds.
Then we started exploring commercial aquaponics and talking about the possibility of designing Vertical Aquaponics systems on a large scale to sell vegetables for profit. Quite frankly, we were laughed at by some pretty heavy hitters in the field in those early years of commercial aquaponics.
Suddenly, everything changed and anyone who was a real contender in the field started designing commercial systems that no longer grew leafy greens in Deep Media Systems. It was the time of the emergence of Deep Water Culture Beds often referred to as Raft Systems. Raft Systems have become the standard for commercial aquaponics; and it seems the pack has simply settled on them as the answer.
Raft systems were not new technology as they came onto the scene in the 70’s with the now famous Dr. James Rakocy over at UVI (University of the Virgin Islands); but until around 2011, for the aquaponics companies that formed in the field outside of University settings, Deep Media was all the rage.
Now, it’s the ubiquitous Horizontal Raft System that is showing up everywhere in commercial systems that are growing leafy greens. Below, this Raft System, showing only the troughs, was built for the 2013 Greenhouse Expo in Bahrain. The plants will be held in polystyrene rafts floating over the troughs. The polystyrene has holes drilled in it to hold the plants. There’s nothing wrong with these Horizontal Raft Systems as they’re made out of wood and pond liner; and are, therefore, relatively inexpensive to build; and they grow beautiful leafy greens. But their downside is they are all “Horizontal” and take up a massive amount of Greenhouse or Warehouse space to put out their crops.
In the aquaponics field, space is precious so designing systems with the ability to put out more plants in less space is highly desirable.

So Oliver designed Vertical NFT Ducts to grow Leafy Greens. We call them Duffy Ducts™ in honor of his last name. 

In February of 2014, we tore the five Deep Media Beds, pictured above, out of our Greenhouse and installed this space saving 60º Vertical Duffy Duct™ System. We made our ducts out of vinyl fence posts; but soon discovered these slick, thick fence posts were way too expensive to enable us to build Food Forever™ Farms, which would require thousands of them. This isn’t news as we’veBloggedYouTubed and Newslettered about our first Vertical duct system on a few occasions. For the purposes of this Newsletter, we wanted to recap the history that’s been going on in our Greenhouse since 2009.
The above system isn’t only saving precious space. It’s saving one of the most important natural resources on our planet today–WATER! The little bit of water that’s trickling down these ducts is way less than what you see filling the troughs in the Raft System above.
The only way to accomplish this feat in an aquaponics system is to have ultra clean, clear water in the system; and that is no easy task. Actually, that’s where the rubber hits the road in aquaponics system design. And that leads right to our proprietary technology that is in a Patent Pending process called our Solids Separation BioConversion System (SSBS). Our SSBS is a state of the art water conversion invention that makes Vertical Aquaponics NFT Growing Systems possible.
For those of you who don’t know, NFT stands for Nutrient Film Technique; and these systems have been around for a long time as they’ve been borrowed (pretty much like everything else) from Hydroponics technology. But rarely, if ever, do you see NFT systems placed in a Vertical configuration unless Horizontal NFT’s are stacked. The system below is a Horizontal NFT system; but you can see how the troughs could be staked one above the other on railings to turn them into a layered vertical system.

That’s not what we’re doing. We’re actually turning our Duffy Duct™ System Vertically at a 60º angle to full Vertical and growing what looks like walls of leafy greens.

Here’s a Wall of Red Oak Leaf Lettuce that was growing in our Greenhouse last year.

But by this time, we had already discovered our big price problem and had torn out all of the vinyl fence posts that had grown 3 crops of perfectly beautiful lettuce for us. We replaced the vinyl fence posts with vinyl downspouts, which you can barely see in this picture. We left the support structure in place only replacing the ducts.
Here’s a picture of our vinyl fence posts in the Bone Yard along with some of the Deep Media Beds we tore out of the Greenhouse in February of 2014.
If you’re thinking this can get to be an expensive proposition, you’re right; but we’re doing R&D on the perfect Food Forever™ Farm system and that means these Farms not only have to grow leafy greens using less space and water, they also have to be affordable for our clients so the vinyl fence posts had to go. This first adjustment to the design happened around July of 2014.
The new downspouts grew beautiful crops of lettuce right into December. In fact, we had so much lettuce we had to sell it so we contacted a couple of free lance chefs in Palm Springs, Chef Giovanni of Freelance Gourmet and Scott of New Leaf Cateringand took a car load to their facilities so they could use it to make Holiday Party Salads. Below is a picture of Oliver helping to package and box lettuce in our kitchen.

But we weren’t done yet. We had one more almost complete tear out to do this month.

And this time we once again tore out everything in the Greenhouse except our two Deep Media Beds in the back that are putting out the biggest and most delicious tomatoes we have ever grown. Below is a photo of Grace trimming those tomato plants.
We finally figured out how to properly trim these tomato plants so they continually produce massive amounts of indeterminate tomatoes right through winter.
Another reason our tomatoes are doing so well this winter is we also insulated the North side of our East/West facing Greenhouse. This side does not get sun; and it was allowing a lot of heat that we were generating with a Blue Flame heater to escape the Greenhouse.
Last February, when we tore everything out of our Greenhouse for the first time (this is getting to be a habit), we covered the Greenhouse with a light diffusing Greenhouse plastic so now the sunlight coming in is diffused and goes everywhere. This silver insulation actually bounces light back into the Greenhouse and increases the overall light.
The fish tank you see in the background is temporarily being used as a sump for the flooding and draining that’s happening in the two Deep Media Beds. It does not have fish in it and it will be removed once our new duct system is complete.

So now what are we doing in that ever evolving Greenhouse?

Here’s a big hint. We’re building more Vertical Duffy Ducts™ using downspouts; but this time, they’re going to be 80º to full Vertical and taller; and they’re going to be in one straight line all facing the South side of our Greenhouse where they will get the best light. With this new design, we’ll be able to grow 240 heads of luscious lettuce; and we’ll be demonstrating to our indoor clients the new 80º to full Vertical capabilities of this system.
It just so happens that because our Greenhouse faces East/West we
can use this new 80º configuration of our Duffy Duct™ System in a single wall.
Right now as I write this Newsletter, Oliver and our System Technician, Keil Plotczyk, are completing the hooking up of the hoses onto the top of this new 80º Vertical Duffy Duct™ System and we’ll be planting into it soon. We’ll also be able to show you a picture of the new system before this Newsletter goes out.
Of course that means we just added to our Bone Yard; and below, you see the shorter downspouts that grew several crops of beautiful luscious lettuce from August through December of 2014.
These downspouts are actually white; but look blue as they are sitting inside a green screen room that attaches to the North side of our Greenhouse.
If anyone is interested in purchasing our used vinyl fence posts or downspouts, please give us a call at 760-671-3053 because our Bone Yard is filling up.

So what happened next? No, we didn’t join the pack and build a Trough for a Raft System! 

We did build a trough alright; and we used pond liner for the first time. This is the trough for catching the water that’s going to be passing through our 80º Vertical NFT Duffy Duct™ System; and I just went out to the Greenhouse to see it all complete. WOW! It’s breath taking.
It’s too late to take pictures today so this Newsletter is being delayed a day so you can see it all planted and growing lettuce.

Here is our 80º Vertical Duffy Duct™ System Design as it was meticulously measured out and tweaked by our System Designer especially for our own Greenhouse.
The brown at the bottom is the front side of the trough you saw pictured above. This system has a single Wall of 24 Ducts all facing the South Wall of our Greenhouse.
There are no fish tanks in the Greenhouse as we moved all of our fish into the Fishroom when we finished building it early last year. Our goal is to create a demonstration Micro Food Forever™ Farm with all of the bells and whistles of a full-sized Farm.
This new design demonstrates what’s possible in an enclosed warehouse as that is where we can use this 80º Duffy Duct™ System most efficiently. The only reason we’re able to put it into our Greenhouse is because our Greenhouse is long, narrow and the ducts are all facing the South Wall where the sun shines in.
When we place the 80º Vertical Duffy Duct™ System into a warehouse with Grow Lights, the system design changes dramatically and is proprietary; but the essence of the design is being shared here.

The Drawing Program Oliver used to create this design is called Artboard.

And he’s feeling it made the design of our new Greenhouse 80º Vertical configuration possible because it allowed him to easily move things around to make them fit exactly how they had to fit into the challenging space restricted requirements.

And Here It Is–Our 80 degree Vertical Duffy Duct™ System!

This system had to be precisely calculated to fit in our Greenhouse, be easily planted and harvested (that’s a proprietary feature we’re not showing) and allow enough space for plant grow out and Tours in our narrow 8 ft. wide Greenhouse. This is what Oliver, our System Designer, came up with.

The Next Step? Transferring the Lettuce into the new Stage Two Full Grow Out Vertical Duffy Duct™ System.

Here’s Grace moving a tray of Butter Lettuce that has been growing in the Growroom under LED’s. The seeds were planted into Seedling Trays on Nov. 21st. Then the Seedlings were moved into the Growroom’s First Stage of Grow Out on Dec. 23rd. On the 25th of Jan., this photo was taken as this Butter Lettuce went into the Greenhouse.

We left these plants in Stage One Grow Out longer than we normally would have because we were building the new Stage Two Grow Out Duct System in the Greenhouse.

The New 80º Vertical Duffy Duct™ Stage Two Full Grow Out System Planted!

This Lettuce Wall contains three different kinds of lettuce including Butter, Red Oak Leaf and Romaine. In about two weeks, it will be ready to harvest. As for the tomato plants, they just won’t quit putting out tomatoes.
We’ve come a long way since we built this Greenhouse in late 2008; and we’ve learned a lot. As we said earlier, we’re innovators and this is truly a state of the art innovation in Aquaponic Vertical Growing.
Thanks for reading our first Newsletter for 2015. If you’re a Pinterest Fan, you can find several of these photos on ourAquaponics World Pinterest Wall. So have fun sharing them. And if you’re just discovering our Newsletters, you can get Links to all of our 2014 Newsletters by clicking over to our December 2014 Newsletter.
And don’t forget to Forward this Newsletter to your colleagues, friends and family who care about our Food System and how we’re growing our food.
We trust your New Year is getting off to a great start!


Aquaponics USA/World
Get your 10% Discount on any of our Food Forever™
Growing Systems from Aquaponics USA!
This Offer is good until March 1st, 2015

Obesity In America (Reprinted from our December 2014 Newsletter)


Aquaponics USA/World December 2014 Newsletter
Table of Contents
Links to all 12 of the 2014 Newsletters
One out of Every Five are Dying!
What’s causing Obesity?
Where is Sugar hiding?
The Alarm was rung 30 years ago.
Big Corporations are pushing Sugar
What’s coming in 2015, Parts 2 & 3

A Word from our Editor, Grace Sylke
It’s been a real education for me to write these Newsletters especially as I ventured out into what’s happening to our Food System and started doing Newsletter Series on important topics like the Food Revolution, theOrganic Industry in the U.S. and Obesity in America. I only hope you’ve also found them educational. If you missed one, they are all Linked up here. As we move into 2015, we plan to look even deeper into the most important topic on our planet–our FOOD! Thank You for being our audience. Without YOU, there’s no one to write for.
Quick Links: 
Obesity in America! Part 1


Dear Subscriber:

We purposely chose to use cartoon images to illustrate this subject not because we believe it’s a joke; but because the seriousness of it needed to be toned down so the information could be digested and not rejected. Pictures of actual people (our loved ones) would be too real and too heart-breaking to look at.
This year’s end, Part 1 of a Series entitled “Obesity In America”, is an exploration into the number one health challenge facing our nation and the world today-Obesity.
And one of the most horrifying statistics is this:
the U.S. is at the top of the List of the 10 Most Obese Countries in the World. We usually take great pride in being at the top of Worldwide Lists; but toping this particular List is an embarrassing and heart-breaking travesty. Here’s that infamous line up:

Top 10 Most Obese Countries:

1. United States
2. China
3. India
4. Russia
5. Brazil
6. Mexico
7. Egypt
8. Germany
9. Pakistan
10. Indonesia

This Series is an exploration into how and why this has happened to the once strong, fit and hard working people of the U.S. and what we can do about it.
In the cartoon depiction above, the little man holding onto his side of the bench for dear life wears a country tag around his neck that says “Nepal”, which is a country that has one of the lowest numbers of obese people in the world. When you compare the GDP of the U.S. to that of Nepal, the obvious conclusion is that Nepal is a very poor country and the U.S. is a very rich one, which is part of the cause of this disparity between obese people and thinner people. But the question we need to ask ourselves is this: “Just because we’re one of the world’s richest countries (China’s GDP just surpassed the U.S.), does that mean we have to be the world’s most obese people?” The Pictograph below from the above article by U.S. News & World Report published in late May of 2014 tells us just how bad it’s gotten in the U.S. since 2010.
Over one fourth of our children, over one third of our women and almost one third of our men are now considered to be Obese. This is devastating!
And, as you can see from the infamous List, we’re not alone. As China, the #2 Country on the List, gets richer and spawns a true middle class, they’re waistlines expand right along with ours. Obesity appears to be the scourge of developed nations in the 21st Century.
According to an article published in Fortune in late November of 2014 entitled “Fat – the $2 trillion burden on the world’s economy”, “taking together the costs of healthcare, of lost productivity and other spending needed to mitigate its impact, consulting firm McKinsey reckons the annual cost of obesity fat now tops $2 trillion, or 2.8% of global economic output. That compares with an estimate of $2.1 trillion for war and terrorism, and for smoking, and is way ahead of alcoholism ($1.4 trillion), illiteracy ($1.3 trillion) and even climate change ($1.0 trillion). Twice as many people worldwide live in countries where more die from being too fat than from being undernourished. The most frequent causes of death include heart disease and type-2 diabetes. McKinsey estimates that almost half the world’s adult population could be obese or overweight by 2030 if current trends continue.”

We digress and ask this: What Did You Miss in 2014?

Before we get our teeth deeper into the Obesity Subject, we want to make sure you didn’t miss any of the other 11 Newsletters we published this year. So here is a convenient List with Links to every one of them. Pay particular Attention to the 4 Part Series “FOOD REVOLUTION” and the 3 Part Series “Organic Industry In the U.S.”:
January Newsletter: http://conta.cc/K08S4i
February Newsletter: http://conta.cc/NydSzm
March Newsletter: http://conta.cc/1gYWudR
April Newsletter: http://conta.cc/1ilECdW
(This is Part 1 of the 4 Part “Food Revolution” Series)
May Newsletter: http://conta.cc/1gnZDdL
(This is Part 2 of the 4 Part “Food Revolution” Series)
June Newsletter: http://conta.cc/1ln5vj6
(This is Part 3 of the 4 Part “Food Revolution” Series)
 July Newsletter:  http://conta.cc/1AvI16S
(This is Part 4 of the 4 Part “Food Revolution” Series)
August Newsletter: http://conta.cc/1vXqDnQ
September Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/on2fr38
(This is Part 1 in a 3 Part “Organic Industry in US” Series)
October Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/p6tsbu5
(This is Part 2 in a 3 Part Organic Industry in US Series)
November Newsletter: http://conta.cc/14UsFgR
(This is Part 3 in a 3 Part “Organic Industry in US” Series)
Now back to our main subject, Obesity in America.

Nearly 1 of 5 Deaths in the U.S. is Associated 
with Obesity!

We are losing our friends and family members to a silent epidemic that is killing us by the thousands. A new report reveals staggering statistics about the extent to which the obesity epidemic is robbing Americans of their health and longevity. Columbia University and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examined the real impact of obesity on death rates.The study found that nearly one in five US deaths is associated with obesity, which is more than three times higher than previous estimates.


The effect varies somewhat by your gender, race and age. The younger you are, the greater obesity’s influence on your mortality. And contrary to a previous study, obesity is not protective if you’re elderly. The Columbia study found the following percentage of deaths associated with high BMI (body mass index) of 25 or above (overweight or obesity):

  • Black women: 26.8 percent
  • White women: 21.7 percent
  • White men: 15.6 percent
  • Black men: 5 percent [we believe due to a smaller number of black men compared to black women, white women and white men. There are approximately 3 black women to every 1 black man]

The authors wrote:

“We believe that it is imperative for the US public and those who construct policy for that public to recognize that population health and more than a century of steady gains in life expectancy are being jeopardized by the obesity epidemic. Indeed, evidence has already implicated high rates of obesity as a significant contributor to the United States relatively low life expectancy among high-income countries.”

What’s causing Obesity?

Everyone knows one of the main culprits behind our obesity epidemic is too much Sugar. When it comes to Sugar, we are all Addicts. And, our sugar addiction is getting stronger by the year as that’s the very nature of addiction-addicts crave more and more of the addictive substance. 

Here are more startling facts and images about our sugar consumption from “Nursing Your Sweet Tooth” an info-graphic created by Online Nursing Programs. You can see this info-graphic in its entirety in the Forbes article entitled “How Much Sugar Are Americans Eating?”, which was published in late August of 2012. Our images are original art using the Online Nursing Program statistics, which cover 2012. We added some numbers to bring you up to date in 2014, and it isn’t pretty.

This is unbelievable. It’s even more shocking when you see how our sugar consumption has risen over the years. It has gone from 20 Lbs. each annually in 1820 to 150-170 Lbs. each annually in 2014. Taking the middle 2014 number of 160 Lbs. means that we’ve each increased our annual sugar consumption by 140 Lbs.
If you’d like to share these jaw dropping statistics with friends and relatives, go to our Aquaponics World Pinterest Wall where they’ve been posted for sharing.
When we talk about sugar in this Part 1 of the Series, we are using it as “the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are carbohydrates, composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose and galactose.” (Quote taken from Wikipedia’s Sugar Page) We’ll get into defining the various sources of sugar in Parts 2 & 3.

Where is SUGAR hiding in our food environment?

The answer to this question is EVERY WHERE! But here are some specifics regarding the percent of sugar intake for each sugary category whether it be sugar in the form of glucose, fructose or galactose.
1. Soft drinks account for 33%
2. Candy accounts for 16.1%
3. Cakes, Cookies, Pies account for 12.9%
3. Fruit Drinks account for 9.7%
4. Dairy desserts and Milk account for 8.6%
5. Other Grains account for 5.8%
(Statistics taken from Forbes article entitled “How Much Sugar Are American Eating”, which was published in late August of 2012)

Are we all suffering from Sugar Blues?

One of the first alarm bells that was rung about this national addiction was the book by William Dufty called “Sugar Blues”. That book was written in 1986, which was almost 30 years ago. “Sugar Blues” caused quite a stir in its day; but it wasn’t enough to change our behavior or cure our national addiction.
Several authors continue to write these tell-all books about the harmful effects of sugar on the human body-effects so harmful it’s as if we’re all committing Sugar Suicide. This one was published as recently as 2013. Go ahead and click over to Amazon and dare to look inside these books. Still the national addiction rages on. Why?

Big Corporations pushing (quite literally) their drug of choice while even using “druggie” terminology.

We’re all still addicted to sugar because some of the world’s largest corporations are producing these sugary sins and brain washing us from childhood to want them. This is not an excuse for not taking our sugar addiction into our own hands, but it is an explanation as to why it’s so hard to break this very profitable habit. This billboard is advertising “Diet” Coke; but “Diet” Coke is actually worse than “Classic” Coke because it replaces sugar with one of the world’s worst additives, aspertame (that’s a topic for another Part of this Newsletter Series on Obesity in America). Look for it in 2015.
This billborad is equating Coke with “happiness”. Professional Advertisers have gone to school to learn how to motivate the consumer. They equate sugar with fun, joy, happiness, energy, taste and success just to name a few of their favorite buzz words and images. This billboard is saying that Coke tastes “Delicious” and costs only cents all in one word. Of course, the Coca Cola corporation is just one of the many large corporate sugar pushers in our food environment.

How is Fast Food contributing to Obesity in America?

A discussion of Obesity in America wouldn’t be complete without talking about our Fast Food Culture; but not this month. We’re saving that topic for Part 2 of Obesity in America coming in January.
And then there’s the other big contributor to our Obesity problem, high fructose corn syrup, which is one of the forms of sugar that is so deadly. That one also brings in the controversial subject of GMO’s in our diet and how they may be contributing to Obesity.
See You Next Year for Parts 2 & 3 of this Series on Obesity in America.
Thank You for joining our Subscribers List and following the first year of our Monthly Newsletters. We did it! We hope you’ve learned more about Aquaponics, our two companies and our Food System. You’ve probably discovered by now that we’re on a mission to improve that system with Aquaponics.
Have a joyful and healthy Holiday Season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the staff at Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World.
P.S: Remember to Forward this email to friends and family who are ready to learn and change the way we grow our food and who are ready to take more responsibility for what they are putting into their bodies.
Aquaponics USA/Aquaponics World
Get your 10% Discount on a Growing System
                                               Offer good until January 15th, 2015. Surprise a loved one
                                               for Christmas. We’ll hustle to get it to you!
                                               Go to:


USDA Organic MEXICO???



Table of Contents
What is the connection between Organic Food and Immigration
This isn’t a hit piece!
Jacobs Farm, Del Cabo has an answer to our immigration problem
Meet Larry Jacobs
Eat more Organic Food
Sue’s Health Foods Store has our Culinary Basil
Watch “The Need To Grow Trailer”
Coming in December, “The U.S. Obesity Crisis!”

Our Editor, Grace Sylke
Once again we’re getting this Newsletter out in the last half of the month; but we believe you’ll find the timing to be quite perfect. Thank You for being one of our readers.
Quick Links:
Secondary Title:
How to Solve our Immigration Issues?
Actual Title:
USDA Organic, MEXICO???
The Organic Industry in the U.S. (Uh, not really) Part 3
To view the other two Newsletters in this Series go to:
Newsletter #9:
Newsletter #10: What is USDA Organic? The Organic Industry in the U.S. Part 2
Dear Subscriber:
The timing couldn’t have worked out better if we’d planned it as this third Part of our 3-Part Series on the USDA Organic Industry is all about USDA Certified Organic food from Mexico. Why is the timing auspicious? Because today, November 20, 2014, a date that will go down in the history books, our President will be announcing his sweeping reform of our U.S. Immigration Laws by Executive Order (Uh, No, Not quite. It’s a MEMO instead. Did they say, Memo?). Whatever form it takes, many of the people who will be affected are at the time of this writing, 3PM Pacific Standard Time, illegal immigrants from Mexico sanz Memo.
We are not choosing sides about this hot debate in this Newsletter and gladly remain neutral about this controversial decision by our left leaning President that many believe will ignite a political firestorm coming from the right. What’s important from our perspective is the fact that contrary to the beliefs of many Americans, Mexico is a top exporter to the U.S. of USDA Certified Organic produce and meats. Who would have thought that to be the case? It’s certainly news to us. And the Link up between USDA Organic food from Mexico and immigration is profound and will be explained below. Just keep reading.
Like most of us, we knew a lot of vegetables were coming from Mexico (we weren’t so up on the meat part); but what we didn’t know is that it was adorned by the coveted USDA Certified Label, which as we explained in Part 2 of this Series is a worldwide Label.

Mexico has recently been ranked the #6 most Obese Country out of the top 10. Guess which country is #1. Watch for our December Newsletter about “Obesity in America”. 

According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural ServiceGAIN Report written in early 2011, “Mexico is now considered the second [that was in 2011] more obese country in the world and the Mexican government has

made it a priority to reverse this through education campaigns and new food nutrition laws targeting school children.” (Quote taken from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Report dated on the last day of 2011)

But things have changed since early 2011 and now according to an article in the Health Section of US News and World Report, Mexico has dropped down to number 6 on the Top Ten List under Brazil, Russia, India, China and the U.S. So the local population is starting to eat healthier; and it looks like the government’s campaign is working. Still 80% of the USDA Certified Organic Food grown is Mexico is grown for export and most of it is coming to the U.S.

Actually, a look at the big cross trading picture is quite interesting because “since NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was implemented in 1994, total

U.S. exports to Mexico have increased 375 percent, while Mexican exports to the United States have grown 559 percent.” WOW! (Quote taken from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Report, dated the last day of 2013)


Pictured below is a small family organic farm in Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s one of many of these small to medium sized family farms that have made Mexico “a top 20 producer of organic foods worldwide”. (Quote taken from the 2011 Gain Report) “Mexico is estimated to have more than 110,000 organic farmers, considered the greatest number in any country of the world. More than 90 percent farm on less than 9 acres and sell their products collectively. On the other end of the spectrum are large, private producers who farm 250 to 5,000 acres.” (Quote taken from PCC Natural Markets article entitled “Questions about Mexican organics?”dated January 2011)

“Mexico is the main producer and largest exporter of organic coffee and the third largest producer of organic honey. Other organic crops grown in Mexico include corn, cacao, avocados, sesame seeds, cactus paddles, vanilla beans, milk, and dairy products. Over the last decade, several efforts had been made by the Mexican government and private sector to promote organic farming. Dozens of outdoor markets (tianguis) and farmer’s markets for organic products have been set up in different regions of Mexico including Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Chiapas where more than 500 small producers gather to sell their products. Market analysts expect this trend to continue growing in the future. Even though organic production represents less that 1% of all agricultural production on surface planted in Mexico, it generates around 10% of the gross domestic product in the agricultural sector with revenues of approximately 300 million USD a year.” (Quote taken from the 2011 Gain Report).

U.S. APHIS Inspectors inspecting broccoli

What’s important to understand is this isn’t a hit piece. It’s a validation of the fact that USDA Certified Organic food from Mexico is subject to the same regulations to which the USDA Certified Organic food from the U.S. is subject. It’s also subject to the same challenges and problems.”For a food to be sold as certified organic in the United States – whether grown in the United States, in Mexico, or anywhere else in the world – it must meet all the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program. It must be produced without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or irradiation.


“Perhaps most important, it must be certified by a USDA-accredited agency. Certification includes inspection of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping of what inputs were applied to the land, and, if there’s cause for concern, soil and water testing. Currently, at least 15 organic certification agencies operate in Mexico.” That’s the good news.

(Quote taken from PCC Natural Markets article entitled “Questions about Mexican organics?” dated January 2011)


The bad news; and there is some. All of the USDA Certified Food from Mexico is subject to inspection. Having the USDA Organic label doesn’t magically get organic operator produce across the U.S. border because other agencies have to be satisfied; and as we described in Part 2 of this series sometimes “Treatments” are required. Treatments are actions that can be ordered by the regulating agency called APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service). APHIS can order that the shipment be Fumigated, Cold Treated, Hot Treated, Irradiated or even Destroyed. Sometimes, if the producer is under a NARP Agreement (North American Research Partnership), these “treatments” happen before the shipment leaves the foreign country from which it is being shipped and paperwork attesting to that fact is presented. If you want to learn more about these “Treatments”, go to Part 2. Apparently, the USDA Certified Organic vegetables from Mexico have a special NARP Agreement in place so the Organic vegetables do not have to be “irradiated”, which would violate the definition of “organic” according to USDA Certification requirements.
Given all the regulations, it’s quite amazing that producers from Mexico actually have been able to jump through all the hoops to import their produce into the U.S. “As demand for organic food in the United States expands, Mexico’s certified organic acreage has been growing at a rate of 32 percent per year. A 2009 study found an annual organic production value of more than $370 million with 80 percent destined for export.”(Quote taken from PCC Natural Markets article entitled “Questions about Mexican organics?” published in early 2011)
Mexico’s advantage is, of course, their tropical weather, which allows fruits and vegetables to be grown year round there.

Jacobs Farm, Del Cabo

This is a story of just one successful producer of organic produce from Mexico, Jacobs Farm, Del Cabo. It’s a 400 plus member strong Organic Farming Cooperative. “Del Cabo’s claim to fame is its flavorful cherry tomatoes and basil, both featured at PCC. All the farms are certified organic by Oregon Tilth [an accredited USDA Certifying Agency] and tested for food safety byPrimus [Labs]”, a California food safety company. PCC Natural Markets are the (Whole Foods equivalent) for Seattle, Washington. (Quote taken from PCC Natural Marketsarticle entitled “Questions about Mexican organics?” published in early 2011)
The average Del Cabo farmer makes around $30,000 per year and has a health insurance policy through the company for themselves and their family although we can’t say how or if Obamacare has affected that particular perk.
Here’s how this all links us to what’s happening today, Thursday, November 20, 2014, when the President announces his sweeping Immigration reforms via Executive Order turned “Memo” in the final hours. “By importing food from Mexican growers who receive a living wage, such as those who sell products recognized as “fair trade,” we’re empowering farmers to remain in their own communities rather than leave home seeking employment. In the United States, at every link in the agricultural chain – from farm to processor to restaurant backend – labor often comes from Mexico. The USDA reports that more than half the hired workers employed by U.S. produce growers are believed to be unauthorized immigrants.
Del Cabo offers its members economic sustenance at home.

This is a picture of the Espinoza family that has been members of Del Cabo for three generations.
The increase in certified organic acreage in Mexico also means a safer environment free of persistent, toxic chemicals for workers, families and children living nearby, as well as a roster of organic seeds relevant to their climate.” (Quote taken from PCC Natural Markets article entitled “Questions about Mexican organics?” published in early 2011)  This is more of the good news resulting from our importing USDA Organic food from Mexico. We get more organics and Mexican families thrive at home.

Meet Larry Jacobs 

Larry Jocobs was born in Los Angeles County and owned and managed a tree nursery when he got very sick from using traditional pesticides. That incident was the birth of Jacobs Farm, which is now the largest organic culinary herb producer in the United States. Larry and his wife, Sandra Belin, “went on to found theDel Cabo Cooperative in Mexico, which continues to assist indigenous farmers in growing and selling their produce at a price that creates a sustainable livelihood for their families.” (Quote taken from “Deep Roots On-Line Magazine” article entitled “Farming Change Agent Larry Jacobs Shares Vision on Sustainable and Organic Ag, Part 1, dated some time in 2013)
A huge Mexican farmers organic cooperative created by an American farmer and entrepreneur. What a perfect match. Larry has also started organic farmer cooperatives in other Latin countries like South America and Peru. Here’s the upside from Larry’s perspective:

“In Baja, California we have measured that since we started in 1985, and most families that previously earn between two and three thousand dollars a year, now earn in the high twenties.


The average is $30,000 a year and some families make much more than that. So it’s a tenfold increase in their income. Young men that were working in the U.S. illegally, are returning to their family farms, because they can make just as much money working with their fathers and the rest of their families in their communities. And they could work here [at home] without ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] documentation.” (Quote taken from “Deep Roots On-Line Magazine” article entitled “Farming Change Agent Larry Jacobs Shares Vision on Sustainable and Organic Ag, Part 1, dated some time in 2013)

Our conclusion? We just eat more  Organic Food and help solve our Immigration issues!
Here’s a photo of our aquaponically grown Red and Green Oak Leaf Lettuce, which is the most organic lettuce you can get.
It doesn’t even have to be Organic Food imported from Mexico, South America or Peru because the more we eat organics, the more we’ll need; and it will automatically increase the imports from those countries. WA LA! Side Note: We understand it really isn’t that simple; but we truly believe this is a direction that could offer some relief for our broken Immigration system.

This Day is full of Synchronicity!

Why? Because I’m about to go out into this Growroom and harvest some of our Culinary Basil to package it up and take over to Sue’s Health Foods, our local Yucca Valley Health Food Store. Where’s the synchronicity you ask?
Today, I just discovered Larry Jacobs (above) who happens to be the largest culinary herb producer in the U.S. We’re thinking we could learn a thing or two from Larry.
At any rate, because we’re in a very challenging environment, we’re growing our zerO brand Culinary Basil inside an aquaponics growroom where we can control our temperature and keep everything a balmy 75 degrees just like Mexico. We’re able to grow several different kinds of Culinary Basil including Sweet Basil, which is in the large center container and the container on the right; and we’re also growing Greek Basil, which is in the container on the left. Today, we’re delivering Sweet Basil so if you live in the High Desert near Yucca Valley, head on over to Sue’s to get yours and help us give Larry a little competition.

We finally made it into the Trailer! But don’t blink or you’ll miss us.

Go check out the Trailer for this great documentary that’s still in production. We’re in it! You’ll see our Tomatoes growing inside our Greenhouse and the outside of our Greenhouse early in the Trailer. Later in the Trailer, there’s a quick shot of Grace in our Growroom that we just showed you growing Basil. Grace was thrilled when she realized she came right after one of her heroes, the GMO Activist, Jeffrey Smith.

Coming in December. The U.S. Obesity Crisis! Just in time for Christmas. Don’t miss it. 

This crisis is a national disaster putting us at the top of the most obese country’s top 10 List. It’s killing thousands of us and getting worse; and it’s happening right along side the healthy food movement. What’s powering it? How can it be stopped? These are some of the issues we’ll be looking at in December.
Thank you for your loyal support of this Newsletter. We can’t believe we only have one more Newsletter to go to complete our first year of continuous Monthly Newsletters. It’s been touch and go a few times, but we’ve done it; and we couldn’t have (wouldn’t have) done it without YOU, our incredible Subscribers.THANK YOU and have a healthy, happy, organic Thanksgiving Celebration with your friends and family.
(And don’t forget to forward this email to those friends and family members who are interested in our food system)
Aquaponics USA/World
Get your 10% Discount on a Growing System!
Offer ends December 31st at Midnight! 
Forward this email

This email was sent to urbanfarmer@aquaponicsusa.com by urbanfarmer@aquaponicsusa.com |