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.

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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.

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


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.
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First of the Series: Obesity Epidemic in the US!

Beware of the easy Diet Pill answer!

Don' t fall for the next miracle Diet Pill!

Here is the first of a series of reports on the epidemic of obesity that is gripping the US. What does obesity have to do with Aquaponics? Pretty much everything, I’d say. We’ve ventured way too far away from the source of our food, which has become fast food retailers and the grocery store instead of the garden. If we learn to grow our own organic, wholesome food, we could cure obesity in a decade. Here is the first post of this series. Hang in here–these posts are going to get better and better. Next post, “What’s the relationship between the timing of the introduction of unlabeled GMO crops and the rise in obesity?”

A brand-spanking new DIET PILL was approved in a vote of 13 to 7 on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 by the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee. The new wonder drug is called Contrave and was developed by two companies, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. But in the end, Contrave was not approved by the FDA that told the drug maker, Orexigen Therapeutics, “that to win approval it must first do a long-term study to demonstrate that the drug, called Contrave, does not raise the risk of heart attacks.” That was a close one; and I have to extend kudos to the FDA on this one because I did some research and here’s what was in Contrave.

None other than two already existing drugs: Naltrexone, which is used to fight drug and alcohol addiction, and Bupropion, which is an antidepressant. And what’s the main contra indication of Naltrexone? The same one that accompanies most pharmaceuticals–liver damage. We just don’t seem to be able to create pharmaceuticals without damaging our livers.

According to Medline Plus, a Health information site: “Naltrexone may cause liver damage when taken in large doses. It is not likely that Naltrexone will cause liver damage when taken in recommended doses. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had hepatitis or liver disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking Naltrexone and call your doctor immediately: excessive tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of your stomach that lasts more than a few days light-colored bowel movements, dark urine, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.”

Let’s take a look at the other drug in Contrave, Bupropion. According to Drugs.com, the side effects of Bupropion are as follows: “Bupropion may cause seizures, especially in people with certain medical conditions or when using certain drugs. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and the drugs you use. You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant such as Bupropion, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.”

So there you have it. The new Diet pill that almost hit the market can give you liver damage, seizure disorder and thoughts of suicide. How charming. God bless the folks who volunteered to be test subjects for the clinical trials.Originally, the FDA that is so concerned about the safety of the American people (remember S.510) had decided this: “The potential benefits of the new weight-loss drug, Contrave, outweigh its risks.” In the end, they wisely changed their minds. Apparently Orexigen Therapeutics didn’t have high powered enough lobbyists working on this one.

We believe this one drug alone had the potential of harming many times more Americans than any food-born illness that the FDA is pretending to keep us safe from with their draconian and overreaching S.510 regulations. And we predict that while the FDA is out chasing down innocent organic farmers, raw milk producers and other food processors, many of the drugs they have approved are destroying livers and lives across America.

If you’ve ever watched The BIGGEST LOSER, an NBC game program focusing on morbidly obese contestants, what you see are people who make unbelievable changes to their bodies, their minds, their health and their lives in three months through exercise, diet, water intake and increased self esteem. The exercise is extreme and challenging. The diet changes are also extreme when compared to the fast food meals these contestants were used to eating.

After three months on The BIGGEST LOSER ranch, these once morbidly obese contestants run a marathon, drop their diabetes medications and other drugs and leave the ranch to live longer and much healthier lives. The BIGGEST LOSER is proving that morbidly obese people can dramatically change their bodies inside and outside through proper diet and exercise.

Now, I ask you. If Contrave had been approved, do you think after three months of taking Contrave, you’d be running a marathon, dropping your insulin shots and living a longer and healthier life? Or would you be experiencing liver damage, seizures or dealing with thoughts of suicide?

The FDA did the prudent thing this time; but you can count on another miracle diet pill hitting the obesity market any minute now and the pharmaceutical company that creates it will be banking (as in taking millions to the bank) on our short term memories being about a decade long because it was about ten years ago that Fen-Phen, that other miracle Diet drug, was taken off the market because it caused heart valve damage and pulmonary hypertension, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels in the lungs, which leads to higher blood pressure and possible heart failure. A 1997 study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that 30% of Fen-Phen users in their study had developed heart valve problems that could lead to heart failure and death.

Fen-Phen manufacturer, American Home Products (now Wyeth), knew about the serious health complications but continued to make Fen-Phen available to the public and failed to properly warn patients and their doctors. In response to the numerous lawsuits filed on behalf of people who were harmed by Fen-Phen, the manufacturers of the diet pill drug settled a nationwide lawsuit for $3.75 billion for individuals with valve damage.

What do you think the chances are that this next Diet pill drug will be different? Remember what the FDA originally said. “The potential benefits of the new weight-loss drug, Contrave, outweigh its risks.” They know there are risks–lots of them–to these quick fix pharmaceutical answers to our obesity crisis.

Yes, taking a pill is the easier way to lose weight; but it’s not the safest or the best way; and it won’t do much for your self esteem, which is directly related to meeting the challenges presented by a rigorous exercise routine and a new diet. Those are the changes that will make a real difference in not only your life but the lives of those who are inspired by your dedication, motivation and determination. Those are the things that make a real and lasting change, not a drug.