Friday, July 18, 2014

My New 'Schtick'...Ancestral Biotechnology

Here's me swimming in our muddy farm pond circa 1975.  Before drying off, we had to pick off the leaches between our toes.  I can't count the times I stepped on a bee running to be the first one in.

           Probiotics the Original Way

I've been interested in farming, raising animals, and health and think I may have found a way to tie these passions together.

What is Biotechnology?

At its simplest, biotechnology is technology based on biology - biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. We have used the biological processes of microorganisms for more than 6,000 years to make useful food products, such as bread and cheese, and to preserve dairy products.

Modern biotechnology provides breakthrough products and technologies to combat debilitating and rare diseases, reduce our environmental footprint, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy, and have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes.

Currently, there are more than 250 biotechnology health care products and vaccines available to patients, many for previously untreatable diseases. More than 13.3 million farmers around the world use agricultural biotechnology to increase yields, prevent damage from insects and pests and reduce farming's impact on the environment. And more than 50 biorefineries are being built across North America to test and refine technologies to produce biofuels and chemicals from renewable biomass, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

See where I'm going with this?  Modern science loves Frankenstein-like approaches to everything.  I'm of the belief that answers lie in the 'old ways.'  Planting by the moon, eating real food, and other such nonsense.  These are the areas I hope to explore.  I think people get wrapped around the idea that the correct path is always the modern path, ignoring lessons from our past and moving beyond primitive methods.

While I'm not 100% sure exactly what this blog is going to be, I know what it is NOT going to be.  It's not going to be a blog where I make exaggerated claims about how I can heal you of every modern disease.  It's not going to be the Resistant Starch/Cold Thermogenesis/Potato Diet Blog--but I'll probably talk about all of these things from time to time.

If there's one thing I've learned in the last couple years, it's that there are few easy answers and that everyone is vastly different.  But, we are all humans and can all benefit from much of the same good advice.

Rain's stopped.  Time to go mow the yard.


  1. So glad to see you've started you own blog. Good luck with your UMD Grad program. I caught your link regarding the Nora Gedgaudas interview by Dave Asprey over at Cooling Inflammation. I didn't listened to her prior to the 41 minute mark so maybe I missed something but she appears to be pretty dogmatic about paleo. The give away was a few minutes later where she started to perk up when she talked ketones. She kept on calling RS not even food for 'us' and that fibrous fruits and veggies are enough for our gut bugs. Could you discuss a little about this? Why plants are not enough or if they are how RS compliments them. I've read a lot of the articles at FTA but never have seen that (are plants enough?) specifically answered. But the other thing she mentioned is that if a paleo person from the past wouldn't recognize it as food we shouldn't eat it. Perhaps 15 thousand years in the Americas eating wild potatoes doesn't count. But there are plenty of tubers and starchy plant parts that would be recognizable from the old world. I was a little disappointed that Dave Asprey didn't challenger (politely) just a little bit on this. I thought the rule was not to mow when the grass is wet?

  2. Here's the link if anyone wants to listen:

    It's obvious Nora made up her mind that starches are not safe and has closed all thought to resistant starch. Her comments made no sense, 'RS is not even real food for us'. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT, NORA!

    She's right, though. You don't need RS if you get enough fiber from other plants, but I seriously doubt she does being low carb and all.

    Hey, if I don't mow when I can, the lawn gets away from me fast. I have to mow 3 times a week when it's rainy. Grass loves the 24 hour days up here.

  3. Thanks, Tim. So, the Wahl's protocol with the recommendation of 9 cups of fruits and vegies would do the trick. I had wondered about that since there is very little starch in the protocol. We have quite a few Ai's in our family and some have decided to use the Wahl's Protocol in addition to pharmaceuticals. It's good to know that their gut will be in good shape using it. Have you considered edible landscaping sans lawn?

  4. Embarrassing confession time. When I made those comments on Cooling Inflammation about Nora G, I was confusing her with Terry Wahl's. It's Terry who has the MS protocol and eats tons of veggies, not Nora. Truthfully, I don't know much about Nora and after that interview am not very impressed.

    Is Terry Wahl's vegetarian? If so, I can only partially agree with her. From what I've seen of vegetarians, they need some meat! And most vegetarians eat waaaay to much bread and other stuff that isn't good food.

    I'm sure you are doing a good feeding your gut if you truly are eating 9 cups of low sugar, low net carb fruits and veggies every day. Add in nuts, dark chocolate, and fermented meat and you most definitely don't need any extra starch in your diet.

    I have a hard time imagining what a day with 9 cups of veggies looks like. I doubt I've ever come close to that, unless you consider that huge watermelon I devoured once.

    Here's something that does bother me about veggies and I'll probably talk about it a lot in the future: the use of radiation to sterilize supermarket veggies. Not so long ago, it was difficult to find good produce at the supermarket, now it all looks fresh-picked and lasts for weeks at home. Many food suppliers run their food through a radiation system that sterilizes them of any microbe, yeast, or virus. I don't think it makes the food dangerous, but it does drastically alter it from it's original state. How many cases of E. coli has this prevented? Probably many. But it also has not done anyone any favors in keeping a healthy gut.

    Edible lawns? Hadn't thought about that. Sounds fun.

  5. Previous post not displaying, may be in filter.

    1. I had to delete a post because it had pictures that wouldn't show up. I'm still trying to figure all this out.

  6. I have already passed Dr. Wahl's book on to others but as I recall her protocol is paleo, eliminating grains and dairy--with a heavy emphasis on assorted veggies.

  7. Ok. Terry Wahls was a vegetarian for many years but switched to a more WAPF style of eating animal protein: bone broths, organ meats, and lots of SFs. I too find 9 cups of Fruits and vegies a tall order (relatives are trying that approach) but if the results were avoiding horrible western medicine treatments like Copaxone and getting out of wheel chair, that is a hoop I'd jump through too. She explains that the fruits and vegies are the confactors necessary to repair mitochondria. She doesn't mention RS that I can find. Perhaps that additon would help excelerate the healing process?

    Does the radiation of fruits and vegies include organics too? It seems that in our country and maybe most other developed nations, food safety laws are written to protect the most vulnerable populations no matter if in the end we all get a little less healthy. Firearms are easier to obtain than raw milk.

    On edible landscaping: www dot rosalindcreasy dot com backslash edible-landscaping-basics. I would imagine berry bushes would be a great replacement for a lawn up where you are with the long summer days.

  8. Love the pond video! I could eat 9 cups of vegetables if they were the ones I liked prepared mushy, and I could afterwards just lie on the couch and read. Because the stomach would be seriously distended and pressing upward; no way could I proceed with a day of doing stuff standing up. I don't know how TW eats so much - she must have a super duper speedy metabolism.

    I really can't get over the intensity of the ketosis vs. starch groups. There is such hostility - to put it mildly - toward the starches - it's as bad as the comments section in the Times when there's an article about eating or not eating meat. It's crazy! I do not think I'm biased when I say the ketosis people and vegans are meaner and smugger.

    1. I was a vegetarian for 14 years and while I think I tried to keep my beliefs to myself, I did honestly believe that I was safe in my world of vegetable oils, grains, and meat analogues. Afterall, I heard all the time from the powers that be that I was reducing my health risks for a number of diseases by eating this way and they had the studies to prove it. It wasn't until I got breast cancer 5 years ago that I started researching things for myself. So, yeah, I was secretly smug that I would out live all those idiot meat eaters. Turns out I was the idiot. For me, the bottom line is not so much the hard science stuff, but what do or did traditional societies eat, especially the long lived ones? Turns out no society on earth was ever vegan. And while I think you might be able to be a healthy vegetarian you must supplement which is not exactly the way nature intended for us stay healthy. When I see a lot of vitriol in any discussion, my first instinct is to think (perhaps smugly and probably wrongly) that fear is at the bottom of it.

    2. PS And most if not all ate some sort of STARCH.