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Editorial Issue 44

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 44 - September 1999

There are few subjects more emotive, and dare I say political, than food and diet. Just reflect upon the billions spent in advertising all manner of food and beverages, mainly of the non-nutritious variety – chocolate, sugary breakfast cereals, crisps, cakes, coffee, tea, alcohol, as well as beauty products such as shampoos, face creams and deodorants containing nutrients like vitamins, or herbs such as aloe vera or jojoba oil.

Compare the incredibly glossy and expensive ads for leading brands such as Coca Cola®, sugar or Nescafe® with virtually non-existent ads telling us to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and not to eat sugar or drink too much caffeine. Pizzas, curries and cream cakes are much sexier, and more profitable, than apples, oranges and broccoli.

With this degree of bombardment from all areas of the media, is it no wonder that many slimming regimes try to tempt us with their programmes by allowing us to cheat and still eat "naughty" foods such as chocolate or rich butter-laden desserts?

It is a disgrace, therefore, that the entire industries involved in food production, marketing and retailing and our diets, have not become more linked to our health, rather than to the shape of our figures. This is despite the massive mountains of published research evidence documenting that food and diet play a significant role in many cancers, heart disease, diabetes and most other illnesses. In fact, it is a complete subversion of the truth about diet and health that whenever a government White Paper does suggest that the public eat more healthily, there is a massive barrage from the food lobby, accompanied by prominent food critics, condemning such recommendations as being from the "food police", the "nanny state", and so on.

Some 20 years ago I suffered debilitating pain from pelvic inflammatory disease, which served as my introduction to non-conventional healthcare approaches. I was introduced to nutritional supplements, adopted a strict macrobiotic diet, and incorporated NLP and chiropractic into a health-rejuvenating regime which transformed my life of pain.

Other well-known people who have been ill with cancer, have also adopted strict dietary regimes on their roads to recovery. These include Beata Bishop and Lady Sally Baldwin who followed the Gerson regime, and Maureen Usher who used an organic grape diet to kick-start her cancer detoxification regime (see Issue No. 40 Positive Health, May '99).

It has long been known that food can be therapeutically used as medicine; the difficulty today is that for most of us working folk, the office is not a convenient place to prepare organic juices or chop up the carrots and beets for our salads. We must compromise between not-too-unhealthy sandwiches, non-caffeinated drinks for lunch, and try to limit the crisps, ice creams, biscuits, etc. And then attempt to prepare wholesome, healthy meals for dinner. Many of us fall far short of even this, myself included.

But if we were to be diagnosed with cancer and given a nasty prognosis, we might decide to take more seriously the quality of the food we put into our bodies.

There is currently a media frenzy regarding the theoretical risk of possible contamination of organic food from genetically modified crops. Where is the fuss about all the actual contaminants – pesticides, fertilisers, growth promoters, oestrogenic environmental xenobiotics, hormones and antibiotics which already pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat?

I make a heartfelt plea that at least a fraction of the public and media attention presently focused on the hypothetical dangers posed by genetically engineered crops, be spread more widely onto the entire agricultural industry, investigating the chemical and hormonal pollution presently contaminating the food we eat today and which has been implicated in the rising incidence of cancers for all of us.

Several of the books reviewed on pages 3-10 illustrate the scientifically documented health-enhancing properties of many nutrients such as phytonutrients found in certain vegetables. And, despite the shortcomings discussed in the review of The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, this book documents the wealth of research showing that there is much we can do both to prevent and possibly help to reverse cancer by adapting our diets.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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