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 by Jon Burras
Food is Medicine, Except in the United States
"Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food"
       Imagine sitting down with a scrumptious plate filled with steamed collard greens, sweet potatoes, quinoa salad, sliced tomatoes and wild Alaskan salmon. As you make your way through every tasty mouthful you are guilt free and becoming healthier with every bite. The extra pounds are shedding off, your essential fatty acids are becoming normalized, your bowels are absorbing the right amount of healthy fiber and your gut microbes are coming into balance.
       For thousands of years the simple act of eating food, sipping herbal tea or adding plant based supplements to the diet has always been a normal and effective means of staying healthy and of renewing one's health if one had fallen sick. From the dynasties of Asia to the native Americans living on the Great Plains of America, food has always been medicine.
       While it might come as a great shock to most, the United States is the only country out of 195 recognized nations that does not allow food to be used as medicine. In fact, it is illegal in America to advertise, use or subscribe to a regimen that includes food as having any medicinal benefits. Federal law, state medical boards and the AMA (American Medical Association) have clearly stated that food cannot be used as medicine.
       America has initiated a rather staunch stance as to health. Only drugs and other scientific means can be used to cure the body. Plants and other organisms deriving from nature cannot be labeled as having curative powers and only prescriptions from the local pharmacy can be called "medicine." Despite the fact that all the other 194 countries of the world use food as medicine, the Untied States remains an outsider in this manner. Drugs are considered medicine and food is regarded as something to fill you up so you don't go hungry.
       This scientific approach has a much broader implication. The United States more than any other country has embarked on a campaign to elevate science to a god-like status and with this initiative attempt to undermine natural laws and natural principles. While a patient who visits a doctor in China might go home with a bag of herbs to boil and drink, an American will leave a pharmacy with an expensive drug to swallow. Taking herbal tea prescribed for an illness in America would be illegal. This primary American belief insists that nature can be conquered and controlled using science and technology. From crop production, birthing and raising of children, education, medicine, exercise and many other areas, we see over and over again how we have come to elevate science and suppress nature. Using drugs over natural elements most often is just another reminder of this emboldened and wayward belief system.
        We have seen the power of natural plant based medicine for many centuries. The original aspirin came to us from the willow tree growing in low lying stream beds. Acid reflux can be cured with apple cider vinegar rather than a purple pill. The essential oil of lavender can rid one of headaches instead of migraine medication. Apricots can be very healthful for asthma conditions rather than taking a daily medical inhaler with potential side effects. Avocados provide some of the best fats for your brain and body. Recently we have found that one of the key ingredients found in marijuana (CBD) can be very helpful with pain relief, for cancer patients and those suffering with seizures.
        An article published in the March 1993 New England Journal of Medicine cited the results of a clinical study promoting the fact that eating walnuts regularly improved the functioning of the heart. There were even thirty-five peer reviewed studies that confirmed this conclusion. Blue Diamond, a company producing nuts for sale, used these studies in their advertising. Immediately they were issued a "cease and desist" order to stop claiming that walnuts had any medicinal value. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not test food for its medicinal value, only drugs. Despite many scientific studies, Blue Diamond was forced to eliminate its advertising that included any health benefits derived from walnuts. Walnuts had never been approved by the FDA as medicine.
       Walnuts are not the only product that has run into the long arm of the FDA. Raw milk producers, vitamin and mineral supplement manufacturers and herbal producers have all been silenced by the FDA. The FDA will often raid a natural clinic or organic raw dairy farm with men and women in combat gear with their machine guns drawn and tear gas ready. They force everyone onto the ground, tie them up and confiscate computers and whatever natural products that might be stockpiled in the area. According to many observers, the FDA will raid a natural food supplier as if it were a tactical military operation. Who knew that the issue of food being used as medicine was as dangerous as nuclear material escaping from its depositories or a foreign terrorist about ready to detonate a "dirty bomb".
       Pharmaceutical companies will often send scientific research teams deep into the forest of the Amazon and other remote areas. These researchers will befriend the local shamans and native healers where they will learn which plants have the greatest healing values. The scientific researchers then take those specific plants or herbs back to their science labs and synthesize the ingredients. The hopes are that these multi-billion dollar biotech companies will find the right molecules in the plant that create the healing, patent it and then make an enormous amount of money selling it as a scientific drug. This in known as "bio-piracy".
       There have been many food based healing businesses that have been raided, closed down or have moved to other countries. The Gerson Institute for example, is now located in Tijuana, Mexico. The Gerson Institute has helped to heal many people from cancer using primarily natural fresh organic juice. Other natural industries like laetrile healing (made out of apricot pits to heal cancer) have had to relocate outside of the Untied States due to persecution by the FDA.
      It has been proven over and over again the healing power of nutrition. Why is America so far behind the times in this manner? Many believe that if nutrition were accepted as having healing properties it would deeply cut into the enormous profits gained by the drug industry each year. Hence, many believe that the FDA's real purpose is to protect the profits of the drug industry and not necessarily protect the health of citizens. The FDA, AMA, CDC (Center for Disease Control) and state medical boards are all solidly linked to the drug industry. Food as medicine would dampen the power these industries have over patients and profits would dry up. Drug sales would plummet if a sick patient could be comforted and heal at home with an assortment of herbs and hot teas.
       In fact, one would think that most medical doctors are on the side of their patients—they are not. Only 94% of medical doctors have ever taken a nutrition course in medical school and the ones who have do so only as an elective course. Most doctors know very little if anything about the importance of nutrition in healing. A rare nutritionally educated medical doctor is about as hard to find as an albino whale.
       While some doctors can recommend a nutritional product to a patient they are walking a fine line. These doctors might be reprimanded or even lose their medical license if the AMA or state medical board finds out that they are treating disease using natural products like nutrition and herbs. Often enlightened doctors and producers of herbal supplements must make no medical claims about these natural products. They might say that this product is a "supplement" only and has no ability to cure anything. Many people have gone to jail making claims that plant based medicine can cure disease. While most often their claims were true the FDA does not like this challenge and will imprison someone for making such claims.
       It would seem that the FDA would just need to conduct scientific testing on plants to verify their health claims. Unfortunately, the FDA will not do this. Reeling from pressure from the drug industry, the FDA refuses to go this route. Instead, they spend most of their time testing drugs and prosecuting people using plant based medicine to heal.
       It seems that politicians are reluctant to get involved as well. One must gasp at the millions of dollars given to politicians by drug company lobbyists each year. As long as you have politicians accepting campaign donations from the drug industry you are most likely not going to see any changes. This is also a story that you might not find much traction within the mainstream media. Is it any wonder that over 25% of all advertising dollars to media outlets comes through drug company advertising. The media is reluctant to bite the hand that feeds it.
       An important reason for eating organic foods is that they contain vastly more abundance of nutrition compared to conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Food grown in miles of row crops with pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilizers will deplete the soil over time and the crops will not produce nearly the vitamin and mineral content as organic food. Organic food is nutrition where conventional fruits and vegetables are essentially eaten to fill up your belly.
       The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) also has a role in the food is medicine debate. According to federal laws, only drugs can be deducted from your taxes as health services. Herbs, homeopathic formulas, teas, supplements and vitamins are not considered medicines and cannot be deducted as medical expenses. It seems that the IRS has bonded with the other institutions to deny food as being medicine.
       Hippocrites, who lived from 460-377 BC, was considered the father of modern medicine and might have been known as one of the earliest formal herbalists. Hippocrates might have used such natural foods like onions, garlic and lavender to help heal a patient. If Hippocrates were alive today he most likely would be rotting in a federal jail cell somewhere. He would be labeled as a "quack" and would have many trumped up charges levied against him. His only crime would be that he was healing sick patients with food.
       The next time you sit down to eat something you might wish to ask yourself a very fundamental question. Are you eating to live or living to eat? Fundamentally, are you choosing foods that provide health and can be considered medicine or are you choosing foods that just fill you up so that you are not hungry?


The Myth of Science, article by Jon Burras, JonBurras.com/articles

Numbers Do Lie, article by Jon Burras, JonBurras.com/articles

The Conspiracy of Scientificatian, article by Jon Burras, JonBurras.com/articles