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Activism Green Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Vaccinations: A Choice or A Mandate? Part I

Have you ever wondered what ways there might be to reduce the chances of or prevent our children from developing health disorders like autism, ADHD, ADD, hormonal and nervous system disruptions, digestive and immune dysfunction?

If so, you are a member of a growing body of parents who are looking for answers to the reason for their children’s health problems, and desire to find those answers outside the scope of conventional medicine.

This topic is very controversial, and it’s true that the majority of parents choose to vaccinate their children, more or less on the schedule recommended by the mainstream medical system.

It’s also the case that you have choices to make, and those choices can affect your child’s health long-term. Before you make a choice to inject, learn about the other side of the story of vaccination and the effects it can have on your child which can last for the rest of his or her life.

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Understanding all the facts, your rights, and being informed about the consequences of vaccinating (or not), is extremely important. If you cannot be free to make an informed decision about something as important as your child’s health, then you are not able to exercise your freedoms to make choices that you should be able to make as a citizen of this country.

It’s assumed by many people that vaccination is the law and that there are no other choices or alternatives. But that perceived belief is completely untrue. Likewise, literature and information about vaccines is by and large very biased toward the viewpoint that vaccines always save lives and prevent disease. There is very little emphasis on the negatives of vaccination.

Did you know?

Gut, digestive, and immune system issues are directly related to the development of learning, developmental, social, mental, and physical abnormalities of varying kinds. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride – a pediatric neurosurgeon – discovered through evaluating hundreds of case studies involving patients with autism, psychiatric illnesses, learning and developmental disorders that nearly all these individuals experience severe digestive problems.

The connection between poor digestive function due to unhealthy intestinal bacteria and toxicity from chemicals in undigested foods that become stored in the body’s cells. This has been found to have an adverse effect on brain chemistry. This syndrome has been called GAPS or Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Dr. McBride believes that as people continue to have children, each successive generation’s poor nutrition contributes to this syndrome and the symptoms become more acute as time goes on.

Autism is now being connected to a toxic environment in the body, specifically from the over-abundance of heavy metals which have penetrated the bloodstream through the intestinal tract and become embedded in tissues and cells. These metals enter the body in a variety of ways – as mentioned above: food, water, air, soil, and through substances such as vaccines and other drugs or medications.

Watch this informative video with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and Donna Gates of Body Ecology:

For many years, vaccines have contained thiomersal, a preservative designed as an “antifungal and antiseptic agent”. Thiomersal is a substance containing mercury, and in the body is metabolized into ethylmercury. According to an article featured in 2007 in the American Journal of Independent Medicine, “Methylmercury and ethylmercury distributes to all body tissues, crossing the blood-brain barrier and the placental barrier, and ethylmercury also moves freely throughout the body.

According to medical authorities, there are no safe levels of metals such as mercury or aluminum in the body. Therefore, the statement you may hear doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals making about how the amounts of those metals found in vaccines is a “negligible” or “trace” amount is completely false.

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical companies are not without fault in their dealings with the consumer public and products they produce. Many, many drugs have been pulled from the shelves due to deaths and medical issues caused that were directly caused by taking them. Various vaccines are also now under scrutiny by the public due to problems they have caused and some have been recalled:

Gardasil (Human Papallomavirus vaccine)

H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine (United States), H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine (Canada)

Rotavirus vaccine

PedVax HIB & COMVAX

MMR vaccine (Canada)

Rabies vaccine (China)

If these vaccines and other drugs are being called into question, what assurance do we have that other drugs and vaccines are also not problematic and could cause problems?

What causes autism?

If you ask the average person, you will get a variety of answers about what is responsible for the increase of problems like autism. Some people cite toxins in our environment as one of the leading causes. Indeed, our exposure to environmental toxins has increased considerably during the last 50+ years.

In a study done in 2004, researchers examined umbilical cord blood samples of 10 infants born in August or September of that year in U.S. hospitals. The samples were screened for over 400 toxic chemicals and 287 of those were found. Of those chemicals, 180 are known to cause the development of cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain or nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animals.

Our food and water systems are contaminated with many of these chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetically-modified organisms. Our waterways, both above and underground, as well as the air and soil are also contaminated with many of these toxic chemicals.

Some health professionals report that our ability to know more about autism is due to our advanced technology and diagnostic capabilities, as well as awareness of the issue, while others believe genetic predisposition toward certain disorders or the incidence of women having children later in life are factors in autism.

But how can a rising epidemic such as autism be directly linked to genetic factors alone? Even most doctors tell patients that genetics don’t account for more than 20 percent of the cause of illness and disease. And yet autism is one of the fastest growing syndromes today. In the 70s, 1 in 10,000 children was diagnosed. That number has now increased to 1 out of 150.

Does vaccination work?

You decide.

The purpose of a vaccine is to introduce a “dead” virus that is intended to trigger the immune system to produce antibodies. But think about where the immune system resides – in the intestinal tract. Can something that is injected directly into the blood stream, and therefore intentionally by-passing the intestinal tract – actually cause the immune system to respond properly?

Catherine Diodati, M.A., author of Immunization: History, Ethics, Law and Health  (The Consumer Health Organization of Canada) states:

“Vaccinations are intended to prevent disease through low exposures to the diseases themselves. However, our immune systems respond differently to natural immunity (becoming infected by a disease naturally) and artificial immunity (becoming injected with a vaccine). Artificial immunity is temporary and doesn’t elicit a permanent immune response, which is why we have to have booster doses. However, natural infection almost always results in permanent immunity.

Vaccines bypass normal immune defenses that we use to fight diseases naturally. Vaccinations tend to stimulate only one part of the immune response and that is the antibody response, but suppress the T-cell response (cell-mediated immunity) and other aspects of the immune response. This is why we are seeing an increase in allergies and autoimmune diseases (particularly with certain vaccines like the hepatitis B vaccine). T-cell immunity is just as important if not more important than antibody, because it is the T-cells which activate other elements of the immune system, help them to mature and get rid of the infected cells. Antibodies, on the other hand, stop a virus or bacterium from penetrating a cell and producing toxins. You need both sides of the immune system working optimally, and the problem is that vaccines are imbalancing our immune systems. If you happen to have a history in your family of autoimmune disease or allergies, the vaccines will increase the imbalance. So we have to consider very carefully what we are trading off when we have vaccines. The reason we vaccinate universally is to create herd immunity. The herd immunity theory proposes that if a certain percentage within the population become immune to a disease, the whole population should be protected from an epidemic. This is based on a 1933 Baltimore study of measles. They found that when 68% of the population contracted the measles naturally and became immune, epidemics stopped. This same herd immunity theory has been applied to vaccines but we are finding that it requires an 85% to 95% vaccination rate to induce herd immunity, and often that high number is insufficient.”

She also goes on to say that vaccine schedules are altering the average age of infection. As an example, in a population of children who were coming down with pertussis (whooping cough), the average age before vaccinations was 1- 4 years. Children in this age range typically did not have trouble with this illness. After the vaccinations began, the children getting this disease were now under 1 year of age, and were also the most vulnerable due to their immaturity and underdeveloped condition. At the height of vaccination, the average age of infection was changed so that 70 percent of the population who were coming down with the disease were under 1 year of age. As you might imagine, the death rate went up.

It is important to note that most infectious diseases were on the decline during the advent of the first vaccines (1930s). This graph from the Journal of The American Medical Association shows crude infectious disease mortality rate in the United States from 1900 Through 1996.

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There isn’t much evidence that vaccines made an improvement since the inception of their use.

The efficacy rate of some vaccines is questionable as well, like the influenza vaccine; many who get injected with the vaccine come down with the flu virus.

The most effective vaccines provide roughly 40 – 60 percent effectiveness, while some have been believed to bring on the very disease they are developed to prevent.

Proponents of vaccines are fond of blaming outbreaks on those who don’t vaccinate. They say failing to vaccinate causes the loss of “herd immunity” and support their statements by referring to communities where there are outbreaks and populations of un-vaccinated people.  The reality is, there are outbreaks in populations that have been vaccinated, too.

News reports reveal the flaws in vaccines

  • Whooping cough – a report from San Diego, CA where they are experiencing the worst Whooping Cough (Pertussis) outbreak in years, dated from September 7, 2010 despite the fact that people have received vaccinations
  • Mumps outbreak – in February 2010, an outbreak of mumps occurred in New York and New Jersey amongst a population of adolescent boys in a Jewish community. 88 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 75 percent had received at least 2 doses.
  • Measles – in 2006, Boston experienced an outbreak of Measles. The cause? Suspected ineffective measles vaccines issued in the 1960s
  • Flu vaccine – discussed are the dangers and ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine
  • TB vaccine – the ineffectiveness of the TB vaccine may lead to the development of a new vaccine

As you can see, lack of disease outbreak in any given community is not necessarily proof of a vaccine’s efficacy, just as the occurrence of outbreak is not proof that non-vaccinated populations are causing the problem. To start your investigation, one of the most important things to do would be to determine how many people in that population were vaccinated and how many were not.

Ingredients in several vaccines:

DTaP (Daptacel): Aluminum Phosphate, Ammonium Sulfate, Casamino Acid, Dimethyl-beta-cyclodextrin, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Glutaraldehyde, 2-Phenoxyethanol

Formaldehyde – a known carcinogen; aluminum – a heavy metal and is especially toxic in small bodies

Heptatitis B (Recombivax): Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate, Amino Acids, Dextrose, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Mineral Salts, Potassium Aluminum Sulfate, Soy Peptone, Yeast Protein

Again, formaldehyde and alumimum

MMR: Amino Acid, Bovine Albumin or Serum, Chick Embryo Fibroblasts, Human Serum Albumin, Gelatin, Glutamate, Neomycin, Phosphate Buffers, Sorbitol, Sucrose, Vitamins

Glutamate – MSG, which is an excitotoxin and kills brain cells!!!

Some of the diseases we are vaccinated against are not much more harmful than the common flu virus that circulates around during cold and flu seasons annually, or the risks of developing a condition where death will occur is very rare:

Hepatitis B

This is a virulent virus, but it is not airborne. It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids. So unless you are a healthcare worker who might be exposed to the disease through physical contact, a drug user, or a prostitute, you probably don’t have to worry about contracting this disease.  That I’m aware of, absolutely no infants fall into this category. Yet infants are injected often on their first day of life with this vaccine, and multiple boosters shortly thereafter.

Mumps and Measles

Generally considered to be innocuous childhood diseases, mumps and measles seldom cause complications and death is very rare. The incidence of measles went into steady decline from about the 1920s until the vaccine was developed in 1968, and if you look at this graph you can see how the incidence pretty much leveled out and stayed the same, even after the vaccination was developed. Measles symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, and a red blotchy skin rash.

Mumps symptoms include fever, malaise, pain and swelling (lumps) in localized areas such as jaw or glands in neck, groin, and testicular areas lasting 7 to 10 days in duration. The disease is airborne, but requires more contact as it is the least contagious. Swelling and lumps in the areas around the jaws are common, and can be painful.

Polio

In 95 percent of confirmed cases, the disease produces no symptoms at all. In the 4 to 8 percent of cases in which there are symptoms (referred to as symptomatic polio), the illness appears in three forms:

  • a mild form called abortive polio (most people with this form of polio may not even suspect they have it because their sickness is limited to mild flu-like symptoms such as mild upper respiratory infection, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and general malaise.
  • a more serious form associated with aseptic meningitis called nonparalytic polio (1 to 5 percent display neurological symptoms such as sensitivity to light and neck stiffness)
  • a severe, debilitating form called paralytic polio (this occurs in 0.1 to 2 percent of cases)

It’s true that when the polio vaccine was developed in the 50s, it was successful in mitigating the disease (although not completely). So the idea of vaccination is not necessarily bad. My objection is the way in which vaccinations are marketed to the public as though there is no alternative, the ingredients used are toxic and have been found to cause harm to people who are injected with them and still the medical community persists in using and defending these drugs, and the fact that nutrition and lifestyle are never offered as viable solutions to health problems and disorders by conventional medical rhetoric.

Many mainstream medical and health sources claim there is no evidence linking autism and other disorders to vaccines. However, there are various studies and reports available from reputable medical and scientific sources such as The New England Journal of Medicine and Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry. And there are multitudes of parents with sick children who report that their child wasn’t ill until receiving several vaccines in one day.

It’s also important to understand that although vaccines may not necessarily be a primary cause of autism and other disorders, they are now being considered by more medical experts as a tipping point from “normal” to “abnormal” physical and mental conditions. A child with abnormal gut flora and digestive condition exhibiting no consistent, outward signs of a disorder like autism can be catapulted into full-blown autism after being administered just one round of vaccinations.

There are an increasing number of parents who are becoming aware of the effects and consequences of vaccines, and as this movement becomes bigger and bigger, more research and empirical evidence of the effect these drugs have on health will come to light.

Please check back for Part II of Vaccinations: A Choice Or A Mandate?

Tomorrow’s post will feature and discuss:

  • An informative video from Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy’s resource web site for parents with children who have autism and related disorders
  • My family’s personal experience with vaccines
  • Informed consent

If you would like more information on becoming informed about vaccines and the effects they have on health, read this excellent post by Cara Faus from Health, Home, and Happiness: How We Researched Vaccines

Resources:

Age of Autism

Home First - Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, M.D., J.D., M.P.H. resource site for education and choices, and a great video discussing the absence of asthma, allergies, ADD, ADHD, or autism in 35,000+ un-vaccinated children.

Vaccine Information CenterDr. Sherry Tenpenny, D.O. web site with resource information, education, and activism

Gary Null, Your Guide to Natural Living – Vaccination: An Analysis of the Health Risks

If you are a parent who has vaccinated, why did you choose to vaccinate and what are your experiences? Do you believe your decision to vaccinate has had any adverse effects on the health of your child?

If you are a parent who has chosen not to vaccinate, what made you decide not to vaccinate and how has that decision affected your child’s health?

Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

Meals For Children – Restaurants And School Lunches Are Lacking In Nutrition

What’s for lunch? We ask this question every day, and it becomes challenging at each and every meal to come up with something nutritious and interesting to eat. Think about what it must be like to serve meals to kids every day of the week and how difficult to come up with foods that help young bodies grow and appeal to their typical finicky tastes.

Children have become finicky eaters over the years because their diets have been reduced to junk foods in all their menu choices – s0 it is simply because they are not exposed to a wide variety of nutritious foods. Instead, they are offered the same things over and over again; and much of the choices for children’s meals in schools and restaurants alike is processed, chemically-loaded, nutritionally devoid items.

The only saving grace with restaurants is (hopefully) they are used more few-and-far between as people generally don’t eat out each day. School lunches present a much bigger problem since many children eat them daily or several times a week in their schedule of meals.

I’ve noticed that many parents and others assume children won’t eat vegetables. When children are not expected to eat healthy foods, they seldom ask for them and/or refuse to eat them if they are offered. A good example is restaurant menus. If you go into an eating establishment, you can see that mostly children’s menus are separate from everyone else’s, and the choices are less than nutritious: hot dogs/corn dogs, hamburgers and french fries, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti noodles with marinara sauce are common selections. Children are given a variety of deep-fried and processed foods with little to no vegetables or whole grains.

The only whole food I’ve consistently seen on menus is the occasional fruit or carrots, but kids are already getting so much sugar in the main course items, it’s just more of the same with a little fiber. Any type of bread or bread food served is often the processed, white variety and no real whole grains. Whole grains are those that are not ground up and are actually “whole”, something you will rarely see in most stores or restaurants that sell bread and bread products.

The school lunch program available in public schools is another example of poor choices offered to children. Kids can only eat what is available, and generally won’t make good choices for themselves if other unhealthy items are repeatedly served in the lunch line. Here is a sample lunch menu for one school week:

Monday – Corn dog or macaroni and cheese, breakfast pocket, build a salad, fruit

Tuesday – Pepperoni cheese bread or teriyaki chicken and rice or half bagel and yogurt, fortune cookie, build a salad, fruit, vegetable blend

Wednesday – Soft shell taco or fruit and yogurt plate or deli turkey sandwich, snickerdoodle, tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, cheese, fruit

Thursday - Toasty cheese sandwich or Chef Boyardee Ravioli or deli ham and cheese sandwich, vegetable barley soup, fruit, variety crackers

Friday - New York Style Pretzel or burrito or baked potato, cheese sauce, chili beans, vegetable toss, fruit, flour tortilla

At a glance, many of these meals may seem fine. These do contain some vegetables and fruit. Aside from those few whole foods, the rest of the selections are processed and unnatural as can be. Foods like Chef Boyardee Raviolis are one of the most processed products you can find, and are enriched with synthetic vitamins and minerals to make up for their gross deficiency in nutrient content. The meat and dairy selections (which are pasteurized) are undoubtedly from factory farms, and there is nothing good to say about the quality of factory-farmed meats and dairy products which are laden with chemicals, steroids, antibiotics, hormones – without even mentioning the types of feed given to the animals who are slaughtered for food. Grain products (corn on corn dogs, bread on which pepperoni cheese sits, crackers, pretzels, tortillas, bagels, etc.) are also highly processed and enriched to make up for lack of nutrition. It is virtually impossible to take a food that is nutritionally empty and “enrich” it with vitamins and minerals it otherwise wouldn’t contain, and then label it as “healthy”. School lunches contain exorbitantly high amount of carbohydrates, so adding desserts is completely unnecessary.

Here are the ingredients for breaded popcorn chicken, a popular meal item served on  school lunch menus across the country:

Chicken Breast with Rib Meat CONTAINING: Up to 20% of a Solution of Water, Salt and Sodium

Phosphates.

BREADED WITH: Bleached Wheat Flour, Yellow Corn flour, Salt, Spices, Leavening

(Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate),

Nonfat Dry Milk, Dried Whey, Soy Flour, Dried Whole Eggs, Sodium Alginate, Partially Hydrogenated

Soybean Oil, Dextrose, Garlic Powder, Mono and Diglycerides and Dried Yeast.

BATTERED WITH: Water, Wheat Flour, Yellow Corn Flour, Dried Whey, Dextrose, Spices, Salt, Leavening (Sodium

Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate), Sodium Alginate, Soy Flour, Oleoresin Paprika, Nonfat Dry

Milk, Dried Whole Eggs. Breading set in vegetable oil.

ALLERGENS: EGG, MILK, SOY, WHEAT

Do you really want your children eating this garbage?

One of the biggest problems with sources of food for school lunches is that the supplies for feeding children come from government subsidies which purchase mostly lowest quality foods from wherever they can be found. Foods are packaged and shipped all over the country, and little to no consideration is given to natural, organic, or local selections for children’s meals. The recent massive meat recall in February of this year, 2008, should be a wake-up call to parents and other consumers alike who believe this type of food is safe to consume. I hear a lot of rhetoric about how to reform school lunches, and most call for changes falls under one of the following:

  • To reduce fats and calories – low and non fat foods like reduced fat dairy and meats are not going to help children’s health because they are not whole foods and will only contribute to the rise in health issues our nation is currently experiencing such as obesity and Diabetes. Consumption of pasteurized and low or non-fat dairy causes malabsorption of nutrients and actually leeches calcium from the bones. Proteins and fats are denatured and rendered toxic for the human body. For more information, see Why The Consumption of Milk is Harmful to Your Health on this site.
  • To offer non-dairy solutions (I can only assume they mean soy, rice, or almond products which are no better than their chemical-filled counterparts because they are processed, and not whole foods)
  • Because everyone just wants to lie down and accept that “children won’t eat vegetables”, I have seen proposals that school lunches start to include more fruit, but don’t bother so much with vegetables. This is not a solution, it is just adding to the problem that children are not getting the nutrients in vegetables they desperately need, many of which cannot be provided in just fruits.
  • To replace menu items like hamburgers, pizza, and hot dogs with so-called “healthier alternatives” such as grilled cheese sandwiches (with processed, enriched bread), peanut butter and jam on “whole grain” breads (which couldn’t be farther from whole grain), and bagels with low-fat cream cheese. These foods are just as processed and empty of nutrients as the ones that have been on school lunch menus for 50 or more years. And they include NO vegetables. Come on people, wake up! Generally speaking these items contain not more than a little protein that can actually be absorbed, processed carbohydrates, and chemicals.

Why should our children be eating differently? Overwhelming amounts of research tell us that nutrition is the foundation of our children’s health, including brain function and cognitive abilities. Children need calories, protein, good carbohydrates, and fats — wholesome, unprocessed fats with which to perform in school and be physically active. But what they are getting in school lunches, and a great deal of other eating environments, is processed foods. How can a child be expected to behave and be successful in school when the food he or she eats is not wholesome or nutritious? Children who are ill-mannered, hyperactive, depressed, moody, or lethargic could well benefit from changes in diet.

In an ideal world, our children would be given the best available. So, here is my proposal for changes to the school lunch menu for a one week period:
Monday -Grass-fed beef stew with organic potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, peas, and celery
Organic salad bar with at least seven different types of vegetables which could include the following: spinach and/or romaine lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, bell peppers,snow peas, and beets.
Two or three selections of seasonal fresh fruit such as organic apples, bananas, and pears
Whole-grain, sprouted (live grains) from Ezekiel bread with raw butter.
Tuesday - Free-range roasted organic chicken, organic mashed potatoes, squash, zucchini, onions, and carrots.
Organic salad bar as listed on Monday’s menu.
Two or three selections of seasonal fresh fruit such as berries, melon, or bananas
Whole grain, sprouted grain rolls
Wednesday – Spaghetti and meatballs (from grassfed animals) with meatsauce and sprouted whole-grain Ezekiel pasta. Alternatives provided for those with wheat allergies.
Organic salad bar
Two or three selections of seasonal fresh fruit such as organic grapefruit, pears, and apples
Thursday – Grass-fed, organic hot dogs on sprouted grain buns
Boiled pasture-raised chicken eggs
Hearty vegetable soup with organic vegetables and
Organic salad bar
Two or three selections of seasonal fresh fruit such as raspberries or blackberries and grapes
Friday – Fancy fried rice with brown rice, choice of free-range organic chicken or pork, organic carrots, peas, mushrooms, onions, organic free-range eggs, bell peppers, and bok choy.
Organic salad bar
Two or three selections of seasonal fresh fruit such as organic pineapple, oranges, and kiwi

What’s that, you say…we’d have to raise taxes substantially to accommodate this? Perhaps, perhaps not. It would really depend on how the program was set up. Local foods should cost less than those shipped all over the country. But if taxes were raised, I cannot think of a better cause than investing in the health of the people who will be running the world someday. This is an extreme problem contributing to the downfall of our health, and an extreme problem requires extreme action. A return to truly healthy, slow foods is at the epicenter of answers to our health crisis.

What could be better than reducing the amount spent on pharmaceuticals, hospital fees, and doctor bills in this country – especially by starting at the ground level which is in our schools where the children are? Think of the savings in health and insurance costs alone due to a regularly consumed, healthy lunch. It may seem insignificant, but the effect would actually be enormous given the amount of children who eat school lunches and the frequency of which these meals are served.

Compare the first school lunch menu in this article to the one shown above with local, organic, and chemical-free alternatives. When you live a healthier lifestyle, you are not burdening health care and insurance systems as heavily, and therefore are not contributing to those rising costs. It is also very important to place children in an environment where they are offered and educated about real choices in health and healthy food. If everyone made the effort, we could institute healthier lunches for our children, a sound investment for the future.

For more information on how you can change the future of school lunches, visit the following sites:
The Food Museum – great discussions on slow food and school lunch reform
Lunch Lessons with Chef Ann Cooper – an activist who is definitely on the right track in altering the face of school lunch environments, one school at a time. Get on the bandwagon!
Suggested reading on this topic: The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children by Carol Simmontachi, CCN (Certified Clinical Nutritionist)