Our health is increasingly coming under attack by the foods that are supposed to nourish us and the water that hydrates us. Never before has it been so important to put some strategies in place to help prevent cancer. Many cancer prevention strategies we can incorporate from our foraged foods. Before explaining some cancer prevention strategies, let’s explore some of the reasons as to why we need to do everything in our power to be proactive in supporting our immune system.
In 2017, in Canada, it is estimated that there were 206,200 new cancer diagnoses and 80,800 deaths from cancer. About 1 in 2 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 4 will die of the disease.
In the United States, according to 2018 stats, there was an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States.
In April 2017, CBC News reported that nearly a third of food samples tested by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) contained glyphosate residues. Levels of glysophate exceeded acceptable limits among 3,188 foods tested; and these tests did not include oat or wheat flour.
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Cancer Research Agency (IARC) declared that glyphosate is a “probable carcinogen.” On July 7, 2017, California became the first state in the U.S. to list glyphosate, (the active ingredient in Roundup) to the state’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer.
In August 2018, a California jury found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer. DeWayne Johnson was awarded $289 million in damages. Today there are thousands of lawsuits filed against Monsanto in the U.S.
Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist with the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, has studied the long-term effects of glyphosate on human health. She described the use of the herbicide as “a gigantic experiment that been going on for 40 years.” She claims there is a strong correlation between the rise in a long list of debilitating autoimmune, neurological and oncological diseases “exactly in step” with the rise in use of glyphosate on core crops.
Glysophate, combined with nicotine-based chemicals, other pesticides, herbicides and insecticides is a chemical cocktail that won’t make it on a list of superfoods anytime soon. Add to that human waste that is added into the soil or used as fertilizer and you can only begin to imagine what is happening in our bodies.
California’s prolonged drought has forced farmers to scramble for water to irrigate crops. They are using human waste water that has been “treated” in massive treatment plants. The Nature of Things aired an episode in late 2016 called Running on Empty. We know that leafy greens such as romaine lettuce require a huge amount of water to grow. Could the frequent E-coli contamination of leafy greens from California be the result of “treated” human waster water?
In our pharmacological times who knows what proportion of that waste is contaminated, even after treatment, with residuals from birth control pills, unusual chemical compounds or mood altering drugs.
There is a free documentary that is really worth watching called Biosludged that addresses this issue in depth. Treated human waste is not just a way of life for California farmers. This has been used for decades by farmers in parts of Canada and in the UK.
Our Drinking Water
The ubiquitous use of pharmaceuticals (both prescribed and over the counter) has resulted in a relatively continuous discharge of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites into our water system. There is no way to filter drugs out of the water, even in water treatment plants. Currently, our government does not require that cities test their water for the presence of pharmaceuticals.
“There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms.” Mary Buzby, Director of Environmental Technology for Merck.
The Associated Press’ National Investigative Team ran their own tests and found pharmaceuticals in the drinking water of 41 million Americans. Philadelphia alone tested positive for 56 different drugs in their water supply.
Another chemical cocktail in your drinking water is personal care products. You know the sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) that they tell you not to put on your skin? It’s in everything from shampoo to conditioner to body wash to body lotions. Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) are running down your drain into water treatment plants and their chemical ingredients are not all filtered out before they return to your tap.
If pharmaceuticals in your drinking water is of concern to you, and it should be, you can have your tap water tested by a professional. Don’t rely on your city’s report. You will get much more detailed and accurate information from a private water company.
Chemicals in Water Treatment
Overall, three chemicals are commonly used as primary disinfectants in our water system; they are chlorine, chlorine dioxide and ozone. Other chemicals used in the water treatment process may include:
- algicide, muriatic acid, soda ash or sodium bicarbonate;
- ammonia and phosphoric acid;
Lead in drinking water is a concern for many in areas with aging infrastructure. Several cities, including NYC, add orthophosphate in small amounts (in the form of food-grade phosphoric acid) to help alleviate lead levels. To put this into perspective, Winnipeg states on their website: “You would need to drink more than 100 glasses of tap water to get the same amount of phosphoric acid that you would get in one glass of most colas.”
Radioactive leaks from nuclear plants happen much more than any of us realize. Oceans are affected, lakes, and where I live, The Great Lakes. The Sierra Club has a map showing nuclear hot spots around the Great Lakes and this is concerning.
Since 2007, there have been at least 35 reported leaks, spills or other accidental releases in Illinois that has contaminated water with radioactive tritium, a byproduct of nuclear power production (and a known carcinogen at high levels). In 2005, operators of the Braidwood nuclear plant in Illinois discovered more than six million gallons of radioactive water had leaked into ground water for six years.
The Perry nuclear power plant in Ohio has leaked tritium. The radioactive water has been found in groundwater at concentrations more than twice the federal drinking water limit outside of a building where the leak was discovered.
Among the 61 nuclear power plants operating in the U.S., more than half have reactors that are at or near the end of their originally expected lifespans.
Drinking bottled water? Then you need to research where your bottled water originates from.
Scientists claim that all these chemicals whether they be the ones used on our crops, or in the water, have “safe levels”, but where is the science that shows the effect of all these combined chemicals in the human body?
Cancer Prevention Strategies
The human body is resilient and can heal from ill-health as well as degenerative diseases if the conditions are right. Although the odds weigh heavily against us, those who are willing to make changes have a very strong chance at being the 1 out of 2 individuals who won’t get cancer.
Be cautious about organic foods from the USA. Contrary to what most people believe, organic does not automatically mean “pesticide-free” or “chemical-free”. In fact, under the laws of most states, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide variety of chemical sprays and powders on their crops.
In Canada it is a little different. Use of the Canada organic logo is only permitted on products with 95 percent or more organic content that have been certified according to the requirements of the Canada Organic Regime.
Here are some strategies:
- Add wild mushrooms into your daily diet. These can be dehydrated and added into almost everything including your morning coffee.
- Add wild foods foraged from safe locations in your diet (especially red clover flowers, dandelion root, and burdock root). Drink herbal teas instead of pop, sugar-added juices and other beverages with questionable ingredients.
- Drink lemon water on a regular basis.
- Minimize exposure to risk factors including smoking, drugs (including illegal and prescription) and excessive alcohol intake.
- Maintain body weight within a healthy range. Obese and overweight individuals are more likely to get cancer.
- Practice regular, daily deep breathing.
- Get fresh air on a daily basis.
- Stay physically active. A sedentary lifestyle is linked cancer.
- Eat (and drink) more veggies that are not on the Dirty Dozen list. (Be sure to stay up-to-date with the Environmental Working Group.) https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php
- Reduce intake of processed dairy and meat (especially pork and red meat).
- Avoid fried foods as well as processed and refined fats.
- Supplement with essential vitamins and minerals intelligently and strategically.
- Use relaxation techniques including massage, quality sleep, as well as emotional strategies.
- Leverage spirituality through prayer and meditation.
- Maintain your body’s PH balance by adding organic apple cider vinegar on a daily basis.
- Remove all processed sugars from your diet.
- Avoid all artificial sweeteners.
- Add the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) to your diet. This has an anti-tumour function and has proven to dramatically reduce the expression of various types of cancers. (GLA is found in grapeseed oil, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, raw sunflower seeds, olive oil, olives, borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil and chestnut oil).
Remember, our wellness is under attack and by making a few simple changes, you’ll probably increase not just your quality of life now, but well into your senior years as well.