Industrial food supply massively contaminated with 'superbugs.'

Consumer Reports tested a ground turkey from a wide range of retail stores and found that 90% is contaminated with "superbugs" -- antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In addition to that highly dangerous bacteria, 90 percent of turkey tested "contained at least one of five strains of bacteria, including fecal bacteria and types that cause food poisoning, such as salmonella and staphylococcus aureus." 

Turkey labeled with "no antibiotics," "organic," or "raised without antibiotics" also contained bacteria, but those were less likely to be antibiotic-­resistant superbugs.

Earlier this month, the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System released a report that found more than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef bought in US supermarkets contained antibiotic-resistant superbugs

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System is a group jointly formed by the Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The study percentage of contaminated samples is alarming in part because it's a huge increase over the past -- the problem is growing fast. 

The contamination of the food supply with disease-causing bacteria that can't be treated with our strongest antibiotics is caused by the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock to make them bigger and also to enable them to survive in cramped, unhealthy conditions without dying of the diseases that spread in such an environment. (Almost 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are used in animal agriculture.)

The bottom line is that consumers buy meat based on price, and antibiotics makes it cheaper. 

The take-away: Overwhelming marketing, packaging and propaganda has convinced everyone that highly industrialized food is clean and safe and that it's been tested and approved.

The truth is the opposite: Industrialized food is generally filthy, dangerous and, by the way, environmentally damaging and there is no big government agency testing or inspecting your food before you get it.

Also: Cheap food isn't cheap. Consumers pay far more in other ways than they save at the checkout counter. 

Both the safety and cheapness of industrial foods are delusions.

The Spartan Diet rejects all industrialized food, opting instead for post-industrially produced food and wild fish, game and fowl.

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New Discoveries

Excess protein linked to development of Parkinson's disease

New concern raised over nanoparticles in food: 

Phthalates, found in most plastic containers, have anti-androgenic effects and may disrupt fat and carb metabolism. 

Binge drinking appears to cause inflammation in the brain region that oversees metabolic signaling


Roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic. 

Roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic. 

New Discoveries

New research reveals how antibiotics produce changes in the microbial and metabolic patterns of the gut. 

Bees need good gut microbes to stay healthy, too: 

The diet of actual Paleolithic man was higher in carbs and lower in fat than modern #PaleoDiet fans: 

Food labeled and sold as organic often isn’t 

Tomatoes may protect from depression 

Saturated fats tied to falling sperm counts in Danes: study


Oh, cheer up and eat some cherry tomatoes!
Oh, cheer up and eat some cherry tomatoes!

New Discoveries

Ancient human gut microbes don't resemble modern humans' at all. 

Obesity is now leading cause of new recruits being rejected by U.S. Army 

Altered gut microbiota in humans is associated with symptomatic atherosclerosis and stroke. 

Americans are living sicker longer 

When it comes to fruits and vegetables that lower cancer risk, color is a great indicator: 

Food allergies are on the rise, possibly due to pesticides and the chlorine used to disinfect drinking water. 

Antibiotic use in infants causes changes in the gut microbiome that persist for at least 8 weeks. 

Scientists have discovered that there are just three distinctive bacterial community types that divide up the world. 

The sperm count of French men fell by a third between 1989 and 2005, a study suggests. 

Gut bacteria may affect cardiovascular risk: 

Chlorine in tap water linked to increase in number of people developing food allergies: 

People exposed to more chemicals used to chlorinate water and kill crop pests also more likely to have food allergies. 

Company invents way to use microwaves to sterilize bread. Now bread in America may become even more industrial: 

3,500-year-old brewery found. 

Even one soft-drink a day can increase mens risk of prostate cancer: 

A sample of raw supermarket pork found that 69 percent is contaminated: 

New startup company to use honey to fight infections: 

Human gut 'selects and nurtures' beneficial microbes: 

Targeting inflammation 'may treat Alzheimer's. They're talking about drugs, but anti-inflammatory foods should help: 

Fatty, sugary diets may cause changes to the brain that fuel overconsumption of those same foods: 

New study confirms link between triclosan and allergies: 

Industrial diet may increase mental illness risk: 

How to avoid triclosan: 

Cosmetics ingredient Triclosan linked to increased allergy development in children.


The color of fruit can tell you how well it protects against cancer.

The color of fruit can tell you how well it protects against cancer.

African Passion Fruits!

We found these beauties at a roadside produce stand in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Passion fruit!

Passion fruit!

Recent Discoveries

Americans consume nearly as many calories from alcohol as they do from soda. 

Triclosan found in human breast milk, blood plasma.

Babies act like little sponges for chemicals, soaking up the good — and the bad. 

Drinking soda raises stroke risk for women.

Green tea appears to ward off some cancers in women. 

Obese teen boys have up to 50 percent less testosterone than lean boys. 

Your fat needs more sleep, too. 

Hospital employees are less healthy than the general workforce and cost more in healthcare spending. 

Exercise makes you crave money less. 

Kids exposed to more mercury in the womb were more likely to have ADHD in study. 

A diet high in sugar can disrupt the memory and learning functions of the brain. 

Oleocanthal, a compound found in virgin olive oil, has a similar anti-inflammatory action as ibuprofen. 

The rise in inflammatory diseases seems partly due to losing contact with the microbes our immune systems evolved with. 

Overweight teens get mental health boost from even small amounts of exercise. 

Tobacco contains highly toxic compounds not regulated by law. 

Zinc deficiency can develop with age, leading to a decline of the immune system and increased inflammation. 

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements could slow a key biological process linked to aging. Or you could try food. 

Greek salad.

Greek salad.

Spartan Wine at Estate Theodorakakos

We discovered a wonderful organic winery here in Sparta the same way we’ve discovered great food and wine producers all over California: by taste. 

We have been exploring organic local wines while in Sparta (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it). One of the wineries really stood out for us based purely on the quality of the wine. The winery is called Estate Theodorakakos, and it’s located just outside Sparta. 

Our friend Kostas arranged a tour of the winery and joined us in the tour. 

The vigneron and winemaker, Georgios Theodorakakos, personally gave the tour and answered all of our questions, with Kostas translating everything. 

The winery is family owned, and it started more than a century ago. Although the vineyard always avoided pesticides and herbicides, they didn’t get an organic certification (called “biological” in Europe) until 1996. 

The Laconia region (the area around Sparta) has been a grape-growing and wine-making region for at least 4,000 years, predating the foundation of Ancient Sparta by more than a millennium. 

Centuries ago, the area was famous for producing Malvasia, one of the most prized wines in Mediaeval Europe. (Today, Malvasia is a modern internationally used group of grape varieties originating in the Peloponnese.)

Tragically, the Ottomans suppressed winemaking with punitive taxation when they ruled Greece from 15th century until 1821. Laconia’s vineyards mostly died off and Byzantine-era Greek winemaking methods were lost.

One of the most exciting things about Estate Theodorakakos is that they focus on local grape varieties, some of which are cultivated only in this area, including Kydonitsa and Mavroudi. 

Kydonitsa, a widely use variety in ancient times, was actually discovered growing wild in Laconia, and rehabilitated at Estate Theodorakakos. 

The winery uses other ancient Greek varieties, including Monemvasia, Thrapsa, Assyrtiko, Roditis and Agiorgitiko. 

Most American wine drinkers have never heard of any of these grape varieties. So the fact that you can buy Estate Theodorakakos wines in the United States is something everyone should take advantage of. These are what Estate Theodorakakos labels look like for wines exported outside of Greece. 

Estate Theodorakakos wines are also sold in the UK, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Japan and China.

What's so great about white tea? Everything.

If you drink caffeinated beverages, we recommend that you choose organic white tea because it boosts your immune system, slows the aging process, facilitates weight loss, protects you from disease and even strengthens your teeth. More on all that below. First, what is white tea exactly? 

White tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as green tea, the kind served in Chinese and Japanese restaurants, as well as black tea, which is the tea used for iced tea, English Breakfast tea and other ordinary teas served in Western homes and restaurants. The differences between white, green and black tea are in the particulars of harvesting and processing

Black tea is the most processed. After harvesting, mature tea leaves are first "wilted," which means they're dried for a few hours. The leaves are then "bruised" to break down the plant's chlorophyll and release tannins in a process called enzymatic oxidation. While this process changes the flavor and improves the tea's durability for long-term storage, it also destroys a lot of the plant's nutrients. Some call the process "fermentation," but that's a misnomer. 

Green tea is also from mature tea leaves, which are picked, then "wilted," or dried, then heated via a frying, steaming or other process, before being dried again. 

White tea is the least processed. First, white tea is usually the buds and young tea leaves, or just the buds. It's then "wilted," then dried. That's it. White tea is also less "processed" by you, the drinker. Instead of pouring rapidly boiling, 210-degree water on the tea, as is the accepted process for black tea, white tea traditionally uses water heated only to about 185 degrees. (When a tea kettle first starts to make a quiet "white noise," that's about 185 degrees.) 

Although the Chinese have been drinking white tea for centuries -- possibly millennia -- researchers have just begun discovering its incredible health benefits in the past ten years. It turns out that nutrients are concentrated in the buds and young leaves that white tea is made with, and the minimal processing retains those nutrients best. 

Very recent research in Germany has found, for example, that substances in white tea inhibit the growth of new fat cells in the body, and also promote the breaking down of existing fat cells. 

Another study in the UK has found that white tea contains anti-aging properties. It contains substances that protect the structural proteins of the skin, specifically elastin and collagen, from the enzymes that create aging-related symptoms, including wrinkles. Researchers found that white tea reduces inflammation associated with not only wrinkles, but also rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers. 

White tea has more polyphenols (specifically a powerful class of flavonoids called catechins), even than green tea, which have been found to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer

White tea may also help you fight off bacterial infections, including staph infections, strep throat, pneumonia and dental bacteria. White tea also contains fluoride -- although not quite as much as green tea -- so it's good for your teeth. Plus, it doesn't stain your teeth the way coffee and black tea do. 

More benefits: You don't take it with milk or sugar, neither of which is on the Spartan Diet. You drink white tea at a lower temperature than other teas. Because white tea should be drunk weak and in larger quantities -- and, because you re-brew leaves three or four times -- it can take quite a while to drink white tea. That protects you from the sudden caffeine shock of guzzling a coffee drink, and also from the inevitable crash.

White tea is very likely the healthiest caffeinated beverage around, the extra-virgin olive oil of the caffeine kingdom.

White tea seems like it's more expensive than other kinds. However, you use less of it, and you can brew three or four pots with the same leaves. 

Our favorite white tea companies are Serendipitea and Rishi, which has a wonderful variety of awesome white teas (we prefer Rishi's Snow Buds when they're available, and White Peony when they're not). Buy in bulk to save money.

White tea.