Kindred Media http://www.kindredmedia.org Sharing the New Story of Childhood, Parenthood, and the Human Family Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:51:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Report: SEEDY BUSINESS: WHAT BIG FOOD IS HIDING WITH ITS SLICK PR CAMPAIGN ON GMOS http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-report-seedy-business-big-food-hiding-slick-pr-campaign-gmos/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-report-seedy-business-big-food-hiding-slick-pr-campaign-gmos/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:33:19 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15437 Find The Best Selection Of GMO Books And Films In Kindred’s Book Store U.S. Right to Know – a new nonprofit organization — released a new report today on Big Food’s PR campaign to defend GMOs: how it manipulated the media, public opinion and politics with sleazy tactics, bought science and PR spin. Since 2012, […]

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Find The Best Selection Of GMO Books And Films In Kindred’s Book Store

U.S. Right to Know – a new nonprofit organization — released a new report today on Big Food’s PR campaign to defend GMOs: how it manipulated the media, public opinion and politics with sleazy tactics, bought science and PR spin.

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DOWNLOAD THIS REPORT NOW

Since 2012, the agrichemical and food industries have mounted a complex, multifaceted public relations, advertising, lobbying and political campaign in the United States, costing more than $100 million, to defend genetically engineered food and crops and the pesticides that accompany them. The purpose of this campaign is to deceive the public, to deflect efforts to win the right to know what is in our food via labeling that is already required in 64 countries, and ultimately, to extend their profit stream for as long as possible.

This campaign has greatly influenced how U.S. media covers GMOs. The industry’s PR firm, Ketchum, even boasted that “positive media coverage has doubled” on GMOs.

The report outlines fifteen things that Big Food is hiding with its artful PR campaign on GMOs.

#1: The agrichemical companies have a history of concealing health risks from the public. Time and again, the companies that produce GMOs have hidden from consumers and workers the truth about the dangers of their products and operations. So how can we trust them to tell us the truth about their GMOs?

#2: The FDA does not test whether GMOs are safe. It merely reviews information submitted by the agrichemical companies.

#3: Our nation’s lax policy on GMOs is the work of former Vice President Dan Quayle’s anti-regulatory crusade. It was designed and delivered as a political favor to Monsanto.

#4: What the agrichemical and tobacco industries have in common: PR firms, operatives, tactics. The agrichemical industry’s recent PR campaign is similar in some ways to the most infamous industry PR campaign ever – the tobacco industry’s effort to evade responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.

#5: Russia’s PR firm runs the agrichemical industry’s big PR salvo on GMOs. We don’t trust the PR firm Ketchum when it spins for Russia and President Putin. Why should we trust its spin on GMOs?

#6: The agrichemical industry’s key front groups and shills aren’t trustworthy. Many of the industry’s leading advocates have records of defending the indefensible, or other scandals and conduct that inspires no confidence.

#7: The agrichemical companies have employed repugnant PR tactics. These tactics include attacks on scientists and journalists, and brainwashing children.

#8: The agrichemical companies have a potent, sleazy political machine. They have allies in high places, and employ their power vigorously – and sometimes corruptly — to protect and expand their markets and their profits from GMOs.

#9: Half of the Big Six agrichemical firms can’t even grow their GMOs in their own home countries.Because of the health and environmental risks of GMOs, citizens of Germany and Switzerland won’t allow farming of BASF, Bayer and Syngenta’s GMO seeds.

#10: Monsanto supported GMO labeling in the UK but opposes it in the USA. Although Monsanto is based in St. Louis, Missouri, Monsanto believes that British citizens deserve stronger consumer rights than Americans do.

#11: The pesticide treadmill breeds profits, so it will likely intensify. It is in the financial interest of the agrichemical companies to promote the evolution and spread of the most pestilential superweeds and superpests, because these will spur the sale of the greatest quantities of the most expensive pesticides.

#12: GMO science is for sale. Science can be swayed, bought or biased by the agrichemical industry in many ways, such as suppressing adverse findings, harming the careers of scientists who produce such findings, controlling the funding that shapes what research is conducted, the lack of independent U.S.-based testing of health and environmental risks of GMOs, and tainting scientific reviews of GMOs by conflicts of interest.

#13: There are nearly no consumer benefits of GMOs. The GMOs that Americans eat are not healthier, safer or more nutritious than conventional foods. They do not look better, nor do they taste better. By any measure that consumers actually care about, they are not in any way an improvement. Profits from GMOs accrue to the agrichemical companies, while health risks are borne by consumers.

#14: The FDA and food companies have been wrong before: they have assured us of the safety of products that were not safe. Many drugs and food additives that the FDA allowed on the market have subsequently been banned because they were toxic or dangerous.

#15: A few other things the agrichemical industry doesn’t want you to know about them: crimes, scandals and other wrongdoing. The agrichemical industry’s six major firms — Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, DuPont, Bayer and BASF — have been involved in so many reprehensible activities that documenting them would require at least an entire book.

U.S. Right to Know is a new nonprofit food organization. We expose what food companies don’t want us to know about our food. We stand up for the right to know what’s in our food. We bring accountability to Big Food and its compliant politicians. For more information, please see our website at usrtk.org.

Photo by Kindred Editor, Lisa Reagan, at March Against Monsanto

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New Similac Video Uses Media-Invented Mommy Wars To Push Buttons And Formula http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-similac-video-uses-media-invented-mommy-wars-push-buttons-formula/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-similac-video-uses-media-invented-mommy-wars-push-buttons-formula/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 19:48:11 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15430 Similac produced a new video about the perils of the mommy wars and how ultimately we should come together and stop our battles. I posted the video on my mama.is.comic page because, ironically, the day the ad filmed I was in the park sitting on a picnic blanket. There also happened to be another mother/author who […]

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Similac produced a new video about the perils of the mommy wars and how ultimately we should come together and stop our battles. I posted the video on my mama.is.comic page because, ironically, the day the ad filmed I was in the park sitting on a picnic blanket. There also happened to be another mother/author who has written a book about attachment parenting standing there too. The irony put this ad on my radar, What are the odds?

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When I was first starting out, pregnant, eighteen years ago, I learned everything I needed to know through the unsolicited advice of strangers. I bought books on pregnancy and birth and they sucked, they told me how to go along. It was a mother that worked with me that mentioned hiring a midwife, I had never heard of such a thing except historically. It was a group of mothers who told me that they had a home births. It was a group of mothers who told me that my idea, ‘breastfeeding for three months’ was a great place to start, but maybe I should reserve the right to continue. And finally it was at a La Leche League meeting that I found solutions for the millions of things that didn’t seem to be working about breastfeeding.

I found this new information through an archaic idea, mother-to-mother support, and it was awesome. The advice was non-judgemental in its intention and perhaps more importantly my perception. Mother-to-mother support created the momentum that built the surge in breastfeeding that we all experience and benefit from today. Mother-to-mother support is extremely powerful.

The Mommy Wars didn’t exist. And whether the first battle line was drawn by a judgmental mother, or a mother who erroneously perceived herself judged. The corporations that peddle baby stuff profit handsomely by fanning the flames. They make it all but impossible to go back to helping each other with their fake breastfeeding education and ‘sanctimonious forgiving’ if you have difficulty breastfeeding.

Mother-to-mother support is all but gone—unless a mother asks, and you can tell she really wants to know, and you phrase your answer perfectly well, and apologize profusely for any missteps—but why would she ask, when she believes a judgment is coming?

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Now Similac wants to tell us that the Mommy Wars are silly and that we should just think of the children and stop. Better yet Agree To Disagree. This solution is still more of the same, divisive and controlling. It makes them money if we argue and don’t help each other. It makes them money if we agree that we are all equally silly and don’t have any help to give.

It’s still not Mother to Mother support in all of its glory. We shouldn’t agree to disagree as if all things are equal. All actions aren’t equal. And everyone of us still has things to learn.

We mothers are amazing wondrous caring people. We give birth and feed our young and most of the time we learn as we go. It’s a difficult process but Mother to Mother support can be transformative.

So please don’t buy into the idea that the Mommy Wars exist, don’t judge or feel judged and voila! they’re all gone. And the inverse, please don’t agree to disagree, or not help, or  pass along your wisdom. It’s not the way we grow and learn. Instead, ask for help, seek out advice, offer support and maybe just maybe we can get our power back.

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Five Mindfulness Blessings for 2015 http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/five-mindfulness-blessings-2015/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/five-mindfulness-blessings-2015/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 02:12:26 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15417 1. May You Love. As we begin 2015, may you make an ever-increasingly courageous dedication to embody the force of love. There is no healing power greater than this force on earth. It takes only a cursory read of headline news to see how the absence of love creates profound suffering. May you work to cultivate […]

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1. May You Love.

As we begin 2015, may you make an ever-increasingly courageous dedication to embody the force of love. There is no healing power greater than this force on earth. It takes only a cursory read of headline news to see how the absence of love creates profound suffering. May you work to cultivate connection, compassion, and empathy. In the process not only do you transform, but so does the world.

If you enjoy reflecting on the intersection of philosophical musings about love and neurobiology, consider reading “A General Theory of Love” by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D., and Richard Lannon, M.D. The final chapter of this wise and poetically composed book transformed me. As a new mother, I read it over and over again while living abroad in Bogota, Colombia. These three professors of psychiatry at UCSF note that “mammals need relatedness for their neurophysiology to coalesce correctly” and that “healthy development is an effort, not a given.”

So make the effort to connect. Make the effort to love.

2. Practice Yoga.

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Whether you are completely new to asana practice or take delight in the joyful flow of a challenging posture sequence, dedicate time to nurture this wise practice of cultivating mindful movement and stillness.

I find my home in the Kripalu Yoga tradition. Kripalu translates to “compassion” and Kripalu Yoga is known for its creative sequencing, emphasis on meditation, and compassionate approach to developing nonjudgmental awareness. May yoga practice, on and off the mat, become an ever-increasingly important feature of 2015. May you be blessed with the fruits of this healing and beautiful approach to life.

3. Serve.

There are seven billion of us on this planet. Seven billion. Each unique, irreplaceable and yet, also united in our common and basic needs. Consider the vital importance of safety, clean water, access to health care, and education. These are central for the healthy development of not only children, but also for the adults who care for them. Now consider that one billion members of our human family live on less than the purchasing power of a single US dollar a day and each day, according to UNICEF, around 27,000 children die due to poverty-related conditions. Each day.

We can change this.

Serve with mighty effort and work to transform structures of poverty, racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression.  May we all be blessed with a more just and fair world by the end of this precious year.

4. Turn Up The Music And Dance.

Rumi, the famous 13th century Muslim mystic wrote: “He who knoweth the dance, dwelleth in God.”

I need add nothing more to this point.

5. Sit In Silence.

Finally, as we dive into this new year, may you be blessed with the profound wonder and wisdom that unfold through the practice of meditation. Sit in silence every day. Intentionally put aside all distraction. Sit up tall. Softly close your eyes. Notice your breath and make room for the gentle unfolding of wise silence within your soul.

Meditation is  associated with many peer-reviewed, scientifically proven benefits to one’s overall wellbeing. That’s wonderful. Yet, meditation offers even greater benefits. In time, it clearly reveals the stunning and vital truth of oneness. As Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh notes, “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.”

We are one human family. We share one powerful life energy.

In the spirit of this oneness, I offer up these words of blessing.

Happy New Year. Happy 2015.

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HAPPY

HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy.

Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

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Extended Breastfeeding Debated On Huffington Post LIVE – With Jamie Grumet http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/extended-breastfeeding-debated-huffington-post-live-jamie-grumet/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/extended-breastfeeding-debated-huffington-post-live-jamie-grumet/#comments Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:14:15 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15401 Mothers who are currently nursing children over four years of age debate their reasons and inspiration for “full term” breastfeeding.  Jamie Grumet, the TIME magazine cover mother from the 2012 Are You Mom Enough? issue, talks about her experiences in the video.  Read the original follow-up interview with Jamie by Kindred’s executive editor, Lisa Reagan, […]

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Mothers who are currently nursing children over four years of age debate their reasons and inspiration for “full term” breastfeeding.  Jamie Grumet, the TIME magazine cover mother from the 2012 Are You Mom Enough? issue, talks about her experiences in the video.  Read the original follow-up interview with Jamie by Kindred’s executive editor, Lisa Reagan, here: The Cover Shot Heard ‘Round The World: An Interview With Conscious Parenting Revolutionary, Jamie Grumet.

Listen To Jamie Grumet Share Her Experience In Posing For TIME Magazine With Lisa Reagan

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Human Neurobiology and Emotional Intelligence: The Five Rights Of Passage To Developing Core Beliefs http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/human-neurobiology-emotional-intelligence-five-rights-passage-developing-core-beliefs/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/human-neurobiology-emotional-intelligence-five-rights-passage-developing-core-beliefs/#comments Sun, 18 Jan 2015 04:39:38 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15395 Kate White, director of education for the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, APPPAH, talks with Robin Grille, Australian psychologist and author of Parenting for a Peaceful World, about the five rites of passage humans face at conception, in utero, at birth, and as infants through age seven. These rites of passage present […]

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Kate White, director of education for the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, APPPAH, talks with Robin Grille, Australian psychologist and author of Parenting for a Peaceful World, about the five rites of passage humans face at conception, in utero, at birth, and as infants through age seven. These rites of passage present themselves as basic, neurological needs that, when met, translate into core beliefs that support emotional intelligence. The five rites of passage and resulting core beliefs are:

1. The Right to Exist = “I belong here. It is safe to be me.”
2. The Right to Need = “Life nourishes me.”
3. The Right to Have Support = “It is okay, and not shameful, to ask for help.”
4. The Right to Freedom = “I have the right to be autonomous, to make my own decisions.”
5. The Right to Love = “I can love with my whole being and be loved for my whole being.”

Read Robin Grille’s three part series on Cultivating Emotional Intelligence In Your Child here.

This interview was filmed by Kindred as a part of Robin Grille’s Parenting for a Peaceful World USA Tour in December 2013.

Read Kate White on Kindred here.  Read more about the new APPPAH Educator Certificate Program.

Visit Robin Grille at http://www.our-emotional-health.com

Thanks to Keith Reagan Film and Video for filming this interview, http://www.keithreagan.com

Parent Liberation Project
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Je suis L’ENFANT http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/je-suis-lenfant/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/je-suis-lenfant/#comments Sun, 18 Jan 2015 03:52:30 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15391 Another act of brutality, a series of them, and the world comes together to protest. To defy.  To unify. People stand shoulder to shoulder in Paris, in shock, in bewilderment, in silence. We try to make sense of it. We box people: ‘Terrorists’, ‘Islamists’, ‘Cartoonists’, ‘Capitalists’. Blood begs an answer. We are so tired. Grasp […]

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Another act of brutality, a series of them, and the world comes together to protest.

To defy.  To unify.

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People stand shoulder to shoulder in Paris, in shock, in bewilderment, in silence. We try to make sense of it. We box people: ‘Terrorists’, ‘Islamists’, ‘Cartoonists’, ‘Capitalists’. Blood begs an answer. We are so tired. Grasp for categories – does it help?

I think the time has come for us to change the mouldy old rhetoric, the old name-tags; and to speak of new things that are now known so very, very, very well. Media peddles its wares by staying superficial. Debates rage about ‘ideology’. As if an ideology can lead a person to kill, like a program inserted in the head. We know better than that.

We know the propensity for violence is not inborn. Nor can it be switched-on by reading a scripture. Rage, emptiness, loss of self, gullibility, lack of empathy…these necessary conditions for acts of violence are all embedded in human neurology. Violence tells the story of our childhood. No human was born to kill; our spirit was killed first. Unless there is healing, we act out as was first acted upon us. Is anyone listening? Child-development science has been shouting this from rooftops the world over, for decades!

Every war was first a war against children. Every act of terror was first the terrorising of a child. Every mocking and offensive cartoon was first an emotion of shame and violation.

Look around. Wherever in this world there is patriarchy, wherever there is authoritarian parenting and education, wherever there is punishment and shaming of children en masse, there will be violence. No, it is not about Islam. Not about Christianity, Capitalism, not about Rock & Roll. Unless of course, those are used as instruments of patriarchy and punishment.

Do this as an experiment. Look anywhere in the world where the culture is heavily patriarchal and the family dynamic is authoritarian. Tell me if such a culture doesn’t produce more violence than its neighbours. Tell me if the anthropologists and the brain scientists have been wrong all along.

As long as authoritarianism and patriarchy exist, there will be guns, bombs, petrol engines, coal stacks, chain saws. Violence is always given a brand. Islam. Capitalism. Etcetera. At the core, the driver is always the same. War and terrorism, (if we insist on making those distinctions) are not ideologies: they are SYMPTOMS.

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Violence demands a response. But by the time the violence has happened, all responses bring an awful cost. That is because by the time the violence has happened, that is a very late indicator that something urgent has been left unattended. Something has been terribly neglected, overlooked, denied.  It has been left to fester, to brew. By the time we send the police, the warplanes…we are too late! We failed to pay attention when we should have. We have allowed children to be shamed, neglected, humiliated, enculturated, ‘socialised’. Then, we left the adults unhealed. In the name of ‘cultural rights’, in the name of ‘non-interference’, we abandon all care. We cloak our indifference and laziness in the banner of ‘tolerance’. Then……BOOM!

We respond to violence…because we have been too detached to PREVENT it at its source.

Wherever there is authoritarianism, wherever there is patriarchy, violence will be generated. And in this globalised age, there is no ‘far away’, there is no ‘over there’, there is no ‘them’. Violence towards children is everyone’s business. Patriarchy three thousand miles away brings a consequence, right here in our street. Our own neglect is instantly exported.

Democracy is not done yet. Neither is peace. These are not acts of Parliament. Democracy is a family dynamic. It is a way of education. Children’s rights must trump cultural rights, or we all suffer. Conservatives are punitive. But liberals are not much help either, when they accept and defend culture for culture’s sake.

I think it is time to be pre-emptive and pro-active. If we care to end violence, we need to insist on ending violence towards children. We need to balance gender dynamics and to democratise family relationships everywhere in this world.  Everywhere.

Can we declare that human rights are universal? What a question! The question presumes all humans aren’t human. So: if you exploit a man in the name of religion, then that aspect of your religion has to go. If you oppress a woman in the name of culture, then that aspect of your culture has to go. If you shame or punish a child in the name of tradition, then that tradition has to go. It has to go. Enough!

Children’s rights must trump religion and override tradition. Human rights must trump culture, no matter what the culture. West, East, Middle East, modern, ancient… for the sake of humanity we have to decide that no culture is exempt.

Image conejota / Shutterstock.com

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Holobiont: Does Your Obstetrician Know This Word? http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/holobiont-obstetrician-know-word/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/holobiont-obstetrician-know-word/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:15:27 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15383 A revolutionary new concept — that the bacteria in our bodies is essential to our health — is only just filtering down into modern day obstetrics. The health of our next generation depends on it. In the conventional model of pregnancy and birth, a woman continues with life as usual until she gets pregnant, navigates […]

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A revolutionary new concept — that the bacteria in our bodies is essential to our health — is only just filtering down into modern day obstetrics. The health of our next generation depends on it.

In the conventional model of pregnancy and birth, a woman continues with life as usual until she gets pregnant, navigates a perilous 9.5 months rife with fear-inducing tests, and hypermedicalization of the process of gestation, and then deposits a baby, no matter what method, into the hands of a pediatrician who sees that baby as a receptacle for pharmaceutical products aimed at correcting physiologic mistakes and deficiencies.

As Maya Angelou says, “We did then, what we knew how to do. Now that we know better, we do better.”

Holobiont

An effort to do better must be characterized by an appreciation of the most powerful determinant of not only our health, but our very existence in the fabric of life on this earth – the microbiome. In a powerful essay, A holobiont birth narrative: the epigenetic transmission of the human microbiome, the mother-baby unit is reconceptualized to include the microbial populations in the mother, fetus, and then infant. These microbial communities are reconfigured throughout pregnancy, influenced by birth modality, and by breastfeeding in a way that reflects our co-evolution with the microbial world. In this way,

“Birth is the process of leaving of one symbiotic association system and forming another.”

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Obstetrics has traditionally regarded the woman and fetus as two largely separate entities coexisting during gestation, a perspective upended by the advent of epigenetic science and our understanding of the relevance of a woman’s lifestyle preconception and during pregnancy. From a gene-centric paradigm, pregnancy complications were not preventable, and genes ruled any manifest pathology. Through the lens of the holobiont, however, genetic information passed from mother to baby includes nuclear, mitochondrial, and bacterial genes, and the bacteria themselves carry out many epigenetic processes that influence the expression of genes including detoxification of chemicals, production of nutrients, and foods.

An appreciation for holistic pregnancy care and birthing – the midwifery model – looks at the mother-baby unit and prizes the powerful dialogue between the two. One of the more profound examples of bidirectional influence is that of microchimerism, or the influence of the baby on the mother’s physiology, a near sci-fi suggestion of cellular enmeshment between mom and baby.

The Puppet Masters

Passing on the right flora from the mother’s gut during a vaginal birth, is acknowledged to be the most important role of the maternal micriobiome. It turns out that there are more tasks on the bacterial to-do list including:

Infant Immunity

Depending on the setting of colonization, gut microbiota determine what bacteria may stay, and what pathogens should go. Acceptance or rejection of other microbes is determined by the original postpartum residents in the neonate.

In the natural anti-inflammatory phenotype of a newborn, breastmilk is intended to provide immune factors, bacteria, and prebiotics to continue the tailored maturation of the infant gut, where >70% of the immune system is housed.

Resident microflora are also responsible for response to vaccines and may predispose infants and children to vaccine injury. Specifically, the presence of bifidobacteria, notably absent in some populations, may determine “uptake” versus inflammatory response:

“Bifidobacterium predominance may enhance thymic development and responses to both oral and parenteral vaccines early in infancy, whereas deviation from this pattern, resulting in greater bacterial diversity, may cause systemic inflammation (neutrophilia) and lower vaccine responses. Vaccine responsiveness may be improved by promoting intestinal bifidobacteria and minimizing dysbiosis early in infancy.

The early seeding of the microbiome may dictate stress response and immunity, as

“It appears that the composition of the early microbiome dictates whether the response of the cells is inflammatory or tolerant”.

Within Us, Around Us

With 90% of what we call human, microbial cells, 45% of our genome viral in origin and our very mitochondria ancient bacteria, we can no longer live under the delusion of our separateness from the environment and the ecology of life. It is leveraging this connection that will ultimately allow us to optimize our health rather than cutting off our nose to despite our face in aggressive acts of sanitation.

How to support your holobiont:

  1. Open wide – Oral hygiene and health is the foundation of the gastrointestinal tract and early digestion. Consider using a water pick, oil pulling, and consulting a biological dentist.
  2. Eat right – Detox your diet of microbiota-altering pesticides, sugar, and inflammatory vegetable oils. Read more here!
  3. Eat the bugs – Fermented foods such as sauerkraut provide myriad strains of beneficial bacteria, most of which we have coevolved with, and that optimize our gut/brain axis.
  4. Feed the bugs – Prebiotics such as starchy vegetables help to promote growth of beneficial bacteria if you don’t have severe imbalances or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. This is some of the rationale behind a moderate carb diet in pregnancy and postpartum.
  5. Hippie birthing – Based on recent data that exposes differences in infant and child health and microbiota based on location of birth, a home microbiome is less hospitable to the pathogen Clostridium difficile which may mitigate food allergies and asthma incidence. Consider taking back the birth experience for the transformative and empowering act of transcendence it can be.
  6. Mother’s milk – Consider a low sugar diet to support healthy milk supply, and optimize your experience of breastfeeding with lactation support. It’s so much more than “food”.

Mammals and microbes such as bifidobacteria have a 200 million+ year history of coevolution as evidenced  by fragments of DNA specifically designed to eat prebiotics in mother’s milk.  When we view our relationship to our environment as a cooperative rather than a dominance, it opens up a sense of wonder about the sanctity of food as information, the relevance of the natural world, and of the passage, through generations, of this collected biological wisdom. It’s such a very different perspective than one that suggests sterile operating rooms, antibiotics, and formula are functional equivalents to the birth narrative described herein.

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Wendy’s Removes Soda from Kids’ Meals http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/wendys-removes-soda-kids-meals/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/wendys-removes-soda-kids-meals/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:32:15 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15369 The following press release from the Center for Science in the Public Interest can be viewed here.  If you would like to post your organization’s press releases on Kindred, email them to press@kindredmedia.org. Wendy’s Removes Soda from Kids’ Meals Move Responds to Concern over Diabetes, Obesity, and Other Soda-Related Diseases WASHINGTON–Wendy’s has agreed to remove […]

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The following press release from the Center for Science in the Public Interest can be viewed here.  If you would like to post your organization’s press releases on Kindred, email them to press@kindredmedia.org.

Wendy’s Removes Soda from Kids’ Meals

Move Responds to Concern over Diabetes, Obesity, and Other Soda-Related Diseases

wendys logoWASHINGTON–Wendy’s has agreed to remove sugary soda from its children’s menus.  The move, which is already in effect, was hailed by MomsRising.org, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, all of which have been urging the chain to improve the nutritional quality of its kids’ meals by removing soda from the kids menu.  McDonald’s agreed in 2013 to drop soda from its Happy Meal menus.   McDonald’s policy goes into effect this year, leaving Burger King as the only Big 3 burger chain still with soda in meals specifically intended for children. Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera also do not include soda as the default option in their kids’ meals.

The groups say that soda is not an appropriate beverage choice for children, given that sugary drinks contribute to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, tooth decay, and other health problems in children and adults.  Drinking just one additional sugary drink every day increases a child’s odds of becoming obese by 60 percent, according to research published in The Lancet.  
       
“While parents bear most of the responsibility for feeding their children well, restaurant chains also need to do their part,” said CSPI senior nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy.  “Restaurants should not be setting parents up for a fight by bundling soda with meal options designed for kids.  Wendy’s is taking a responsible step forward that will improve children’s health and make it easier for parents to make healthy choices for their children.  We hope Burger King, Applebee’s, IHOP, and other chains follow suit.”

“Ensuring that our children can make healthy choices is an important part of raising them,” said MomsRising Executive Director and CEO Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “When restaurants offer up sugary drinks as the default choice, it undermines those efforts. MomsRising and its members are delighted that Wendy’s is now supporting parents in encouraging children to make healthy food choices.”

Last year, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a shareholder coalition that promotes improved corporate practices on social and environmental issues, filed a resolution with the company.  However, ICCR withdrew it when Wendy’s agreed to consider removing sodas from its kids menu and limiting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.

“We applaud Wendy’s for prioritizing children’s health and providing more nutritious beverage options,” said ICCR member Fr. Michael Crosby of the Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota Coalition for Responsible Investment. “Beyond the obvious health risks for kids is the reputational risk these unhealthy drinks carry for the company.  As their investors, we are pleased to see them address this important concern.”

Besides removing soda from children’s menus and advertising, Wendy’s could further improve its menus for children and adults by serving whole grain rolls, offering more fruit and vegetable options, reducing sodium across the menu, and dropping Frostys from the children’s menu, the groups say.  The groups also have urged Wendy’s to adopt a comprehensive policy to limit the marketing of unhealthy food to children and join the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a self-regulatory program administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

View this release online.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, that focuses on nutrition and food safety policies.  CSPI is supported by the 900,000 U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and by foundation grants.

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Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Overfed and Undernourished

We live in a world with increasing levels of Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes and Obesity. Over 70% of foods we consume on a daily basis are processed, and according to the World Health Organization, if current trends continue one billion people will be obese by 2030.

With our fast paced lives, we have become reliant and connected to devices, TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones and disconnected with the natural world, and the people around us.

“Overfed & Undernourished” examines modern lifestyles and a global epidemic through one boy’s inspiring story to regain his health from the inside out. After heartache, Liam, weighing in at over 80kgs (176lbs) turns to his Aunty & Uncle for help, and embarks on a journey where we witness the highs and lows, a family unite for a common cause, and the promise of transforming his life forever.

With 25% of children and 74% of adults obese or overweight, Liam’s problem is not uncommon, but, as the film illustrates, the treatment is more readily attainable than most people think.

This ground breaking documentary is interspersed with interviews and advice from leading health and wellbeing experts from around the globe and provides us with simple solutions to improve the quality of our diet, lifestyle, and personal bonds, ultimately asking us the fundamental question – are we really nourishing ourselves?

Featuring: Joe Cross (Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead), Dr. John Demartini (The Secret), Dr. Anthony Gollé, Dr. Arne Rubinstein and Don Tolman.

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New Scientific Report: Unnecessary Medical Interventions In Labor And Delivery May Be Putting Mothers, Babies At Risk http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-scientific-report-unnecessary-medical-interventions-labor-delivery-may-putting-mothers-babies-risk/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-scientific-report-unnecessary-medical-interventions-labor-delivery-may-putting-mothers-babies-risk/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:36:17 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15355 Editor’s Note: Sarah Buckley, MD, a contributing author and International Advisory Board member to Kindred, will be sharing excerpts of her work here over the coming weeks as this report launches.  Bookmark our site and social media outlets to stay tuned! Comprehensive Report Examines the Science on the Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing and Its Implications […]

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Editor’s Note: Sarah Buckley, MD, a contributing author and International Advisory Board member to Kindred, will be sharing excerpts of her work here over the coming weeks as this report launches.  Bookmark our site and social media outlets to stay tuned!
Dandelion Seeds Sharp

Comprehensive Report Examines the Science on the Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing and Its Implications for Women, Babies and Maternity Care

The United State’s maternity care system is missing opportunities to provide better care and use resources more wisely by routinely intervening in labor and delivery in ways that interfere with, instead of promoting, supporting and protecting, innate biological processes that result in healthier outcomes for women and newborns. That is the conclusion of a major new report, Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care, released today. The unprecedented synthesis of scientific research on how hormone systems function from late pregnancy through the early postpartum period concludes that commonly used maternity interventions — such as labor induction, epidural analgesia, and cesarean section — can disturb hormonal processes and interfere with the benefits they offer.
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The new report was authored by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley and released by Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. It synthesizes evidence about the impacts of common maternity care practices and interventions on four hormonal systems that are consequential for childbearing. It finds that a large body of evidence demonstrates that the hormonal physiology of childbearing has significant benefits for the health of mothers and babies and can optimize breastfeeding and maternal-infant attachment. But it concludes that common maternity care interventions may disturb hormonal processes, reduce their benefits, and create new challenges. The report’s recommendations have implications for policy, practice, education, consumer engagement, and research.

“We issue this report at a moment when there is growing recognition that patterns of maternity care in the United States are contributing to unnecessarily high rates of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality and excess costs,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “It should be a wake-up call for the maternity care system and for childbearing women. We need to ensure that, going forward, we use our precious resources wisely and in ways that benefit women and babies.”

“We expect Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing to be a game-changer that accelerates efforts to improve the quality and value of maternity care while building women’s confidence in their ability to labor and give birth without medical interventions that can expose them and their babies to unnecessary risk and higher costs,” Ness continued. “We intend to mount a major effort to ensure that it reaches maternity care providers as well as women who are pregnant or are considering childbearing.”

In addition to the scientific report, today’s release includes infographics for women and for clinicians, a consumer booklet for women, and other materials. The outreach to mothers and those considering motherhood will begin via social media this week with a tweet chat and Facebook Q&A. The report and accompanying materials were funded by the Transforming Birth Fund, DONA International, and Lamaze International.

“Based on the findings from Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing, we recommend use of the Precautionary Principle,” said Carol Sakala, director of Childbirth Connection programs. “That means rigorously verifying the benefits of proposed interventions in individual circumstances before undertaking them; limiting routine practices to those of proven benefit to healthy mothers and babies; avoiding the use of interventions for the convenience of women or maternity care providers and systems; initially using less invasive measures to address challenges; and stepping up to more consequential interventions only as needed.”

The foreword, written by leaders from family medicine, midwifery, nursing, obstetrics, and pediatrics, says, in part: “This report will be retrospectively evaluated as one of the most revolutionary and influential publications on maternity and newborn care ever issued. What is remarkable is that it is not about a new technology or drug. Rather, it compiles scientific evidence that ‘less is more’ and if we get it right in the beginning there are potentially profound impacts on learning, brain development, and well-being in the child.” The foreword also speaks to the report’s relevance to improving maternal and newborn outcomes and the patient experience of care, improving population health, and reducing costs.

Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing offers a series of recommendations to optimize hormonal physiology in childbearing:

Recommendations relating to education, policy and consumer engagement:

✓   Educate all maternity care providers in the hormonal physiology of childbearing.
✓   Use effective policies and quality improvement strategies to foster consistent access to physiologic childbearing.
✓   Strengthen and increase access to care models that foster physiologic childbearing and safely limit use of maternity care interventions.
✓   Use effective consumer engagement strategies to inform women about physiologic childbearing and involve them in related aspects of their care.

Recommendations relating to care practices — whenever safely possible:

✓   Provide prenatal care that reduces stress and anxiety in pregnant women.
✓   Foster the physiologic onset of labor at term.
✓   With hospital birth, encourage admission in active labor.
✓   Foster privacy and reduce anxiety and stress in labor.
✓   Make non-pharmacologic comfort measures for pain relief routinely available, and use analgesic medications sparingly.
✓   Make non-pharmacologic methods of fostering labor progress routinely available, and use pharmacologic methods sparingly.
✓   Promote continuous support during labor.
✓   Foster spontaneous vaginal birth and avoid unneeded cesareans.
✓   Support early and unrestricted skin-to-skin contact after birth between mother and newborn.
✓   Support early, frequent, and ongoing breastfeeding after birth.

Recommendation relating to research:

✓   Identify and carry out priority research into hormonal physiology of childbearing, and routinely incorporate this perspective in maternity care research.

“Promoting, supporting, and protecting physiologic childbearing, as far as safely possible in each situation, is a low-technology health and wellness approach to the care of childbearing women and their fetuses/newborns that is applicable in almost all maternity care settings,” Sakala added. “We intend to ensure uptake of the report’s recommendations for policy, practice, education, consumer engagement, and research. We think the information it contains is important for employers and payers as well, because they want to improve care and outcomes for beneficiaries.”

The report, consumer booklet, infographics and other materials are all available online, free of charge, at:ChildbirthConnection.org/HormonalPhysiology.

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New Study Says EMFs On Par With DDT Or Lead For Children: 10 Ways To Limit Your Exposure http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-study-says-wi-fi-emfs-dangerous-ddt-lead-children-10-ways-limit-exposure/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/01/new-study-says-wi-fi-emfs-dangerous-ddt-lead-children-10-ways-limit-exposure/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 20:16:24 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=15335 Image Shutterstock/Alexey Losevich Editor’s Note: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRIC), part of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), classifies more than 250 agents, including chloroform, lead, gas and DDT as Class 2B Carcinogens, and now radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMF).  Sources of RF/EMF include radios, televisions, microwave ovens, cell phones, and Wi-Fi devices. […]

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Image Shutterstock/Alexey Losevich

Editor’s Note: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRIC), part of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), classifies more than 250 agents, including chloroform, lead, gas and DDT as Class 2B Carcinogens, and now radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMF).  Sources of RF/EMF include radios, televisions, microwave ovens, cell phones, and Wi-Fi devices. Read more about the report published in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure entitled “Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences” in this Forbes article here.  Thanks to SafeMinds for the 10 Ways To Limit Your EMF Exposure below!

Dandelion Seeds Sharp

I know. We’ve already got you smelling your kid’s shoes before you buy them, searching for a couch made without flame retardants, and fretting about themercury in your mouth, and now I’m adding another concern to your list: Your child’s exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

emfblogphotoElectromagne-whaa?

What are these things anyway?

And why should you be concerned about them?

An Electromagnetic field (EMF) is a field produced by any object that is electrically charged.

Electromagnetic fields are present everywhere in our environment. EMF technology is a remarkable breakthrough of great business and social importance. Our society no longer functions without it. Many of our jobs rely on EMF technology. We also stay in touch with the people we love through cell phones, we watch over our babies through wireless baby monitors, and we heat up our dinners in the microwave.

Because EMFs are invisible areas of energy, many of us are not aware of the extent to which they exist. If we could see them, we’d be able to see EMFs stream in through our windows, ceilings, and walls. Some of this radiation can penetrate a few inches into our body; some of it passes right through our skin, muscle, and bone.

We know, as the World Health Organization points out, the earth has its own magnetic field—used by birds and fish for navigation—and there are other instances of naturally occurring EMFs, when electricity builds up during a thunderstorm, for example.

But in recent decades, with the increasing popularity of cell phones and personal computers, we’re living in a soup of manmade EMFs.

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Why should we care?

The neurons in the human brain are continuously converting chemical signals to electrical signals and back again. That’s how our brain cells communicate.

It stands to reason that things that interfere with electrical signaling may have the potential to alter our brains.

“It makes biological sense that we should be concerned about this,” my friend and colleague Sallie Bernard explains. “Some people are reporting feel healthier and less dyregulated after reducing their exposures to EMFs.”

Some studies have shown a possible link between electromagnetic field strength and an increased risk for childhood leukemia.

And we now know it is not necessary for the strength of an EMF to be high for a biological happening to occur – there is considerable evidence that even extremely weak signals can have physiological consequences.

Research from Sweden released October 2014 found teenagers who began using cell phones before age 20 had 5 times more brain cancer by the time they reached their late 20’s.

Finally, it’s children with developing organs who are most sensitive to possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Are Electromagnetic Fields Implicated in Autism?

A recent peer-reviewed scientific series by Cindy Sage, who works for Sage Associates, an EMF Consulting Firm, and Dr. Martha Herbert, Ph.D., M.D., a pediatric neurologist and brain development researcher at Harvard University, looked at the existing science in order to evaluate potentials for a cause-and-effect relationship between electromagnetic fields and radio frequency radiation (RFR) and autism symptoms.

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These researchers found that behaviors in autism spectrum disorders may emerge from alterations of normal brain function, and that EMF/RFR have the potential to contribute to these alterations by creating an inability to achieve a normal balance in brain activity or to properly send and receive the electrical signals associated with normal brain function.

The main issues commonly related to EMF/RFR and autism spectrum conditions included impaired sensory processing associated with hearing and vision, seizures, and an almost universal presence of sleep disruption.

Further, the research team discovered that EMF/RFR exposure could lead to biological system overload and failure.

In other words, continuous exposure to electromagnetic fields might either overwhelm or eventually lead to an inability to tolerate the levels normally found, resulting in increasing risk, and worsening biological problems and symptoms.

Peter Sullivan, a father of two boys with autism who left Silicon Valley to start Clear Light Ventures, a public education organization to improve the quality of life for children with autism, explains that exposure to EMFs is another form of pollution. It isn’t natural, our bodies are not normally subjected to it in the amounts we are getting now, and it is causing negative health outcomes in people who are sensitive or overexposed.

Sage and Herbert believe that reducing exposure to EMF/RFRs might help remove barriers to proper function and healing in people with autism spectrum disorders.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Research continues on the possible biological effects of exposure…”

So … while we wait on that research to continue, we can take simple steps to limit our exposure to EMFs.

Here’s my best advice, compiled with the help of my colleagues Sallie Bernard and Eric Uram.

10 Ways to Keep a Safe Distance and Reduce Your Exposure to EMFs:

  1. Get those laptops OFF your lap: Laptop computers are a high energy source of both electric and magnetic fields, so avoid putting a laptop directly on your lap. Shield yourself with thermal and electric shields to reduce exposures.
  2. Unplug electrical devices before bed: Keep electrical devices out of bedrooms or unplug them at night (just turning off the on switch still allows electricity to enter the device) – alarm clocks, lamps, computers, phones. Buy battery-operated clocks or mechanical devices instead of electrical ones. Remember wind-up alarm clocks?
  3. Unplug and run off the battery: Some computer charging devices are ungrounded, you can reduce your exposures by 100 times or more using a laptop when it’s unplugged and running on battery rather than when it’s plugged into an outlet and charging (same goes for tablets, readers and even cell phones). Pregnant women should take special care when using these technologies while they’re plugged in.
  4. Cable it: Using cabling to connect to the internet rather than WiFi. Desktops, laptops, printers and even tablet computers can all be connected via cables to minimize EMF signals (here’s a video showing how to connect to an iPad.)
  5. Opt out of Smart Meters: “Smart Meters” send local signals on utility use – electricity, natural gas, water and sewerage – and are a dangerous source of EMFs. Property owners can opt-out of the service in many communities.
  6. Choose wiring over WiFi: During construction or remodeling, be sure to build in hardwired options behind walls for all electrical systems including security, lighting, entertainment and HVAC controls so communication is done through wires and not WiFi. If you do use WiFi, don’t have a major WiFi router that beams to your whole house. Instead, get a low-energy router with repeater sites that help get the signal everywhere but reduces the intensity of the signal in any given place and can be adjusted to send pulse signals less frequently.
  7. Shield electrical wires: Metal shielding or metal conduit like twisted Romex, BX, or armored cable helps prevents emission of dirty electricity.
  8. Charge your phone or tablet in another room: Don’t keep your cellphone in your bedroom. Charge it, and other electrical devices away from sleeping areas.
  9. Get corded: Those old-fashioned corded phones that we all grew up with? These days folks are making pocket books that look like them, and piggybanks. Use corded phone systems wherever possible rather than cell phones or cordless phones. Forward your cellphone to your corded phone when at home or in the office.
  10. Headsets help: Use low-emission corded headsets connected to your cellphone or cordless handset instead of holding a wireless phone to your head.

This blog is adapted from an article I wrote with Sallie Bernard and Eric Uram for this month’s Autism File. For more details about this reducing EMF exposure, read the full article here.

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