Add as bookmark

Fast Food, Obesity and Ill Health: The urgent need to shift from chemical-based to real foods

by Jane Lorimer(more info)

listed in environmental, originally published in issue 129 - November 2006

Thirty years ago, my father took us to the Montreal Olympics; we were agog at the number of enormous people there. Quite a few, younger than us (we were teenagers) had difficulty walking. In Britain in those days, the only fat tummies you ever saw – pre-middle age, were on serious beer drinkers. But in 2006, one generation later, I am sickened to see that 12 year-olds in Scotland have indeed overtaken the Americans on the Obesity Tables. Now, one in five children is obese in Scotland compared to one in six in the United States – and the Americans had a big head start.

We have not only got bigger, we have actually changed shape. Between 1951 and 2004, men and women have grown an average of 11/2” each in height, chest/bust and hips, while our waist measurements have grown by 61/2”![1]

Weight around the middle is a sign that the degenerative processes leading to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure (Metabolic Syndrome) and cancer, have already set in – along with other degenerative diseases and conditions that are only seen relatively recently in westernized cultures – osteoporosis, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s, autism, allergies, etc. Weight gain should be seen as a gentle wake-up call that your digestive, metabolic, immune or hormonal systems (or all four) are getting out of balance, and that you’re heading for the rocks unless you turn around.

We have created an ‘obesogenic environment’. Globally the number of overweight people has overtaken the under-nourished – at 1.1 billion to 800 million.[2] Now that food is more plentiful and available than ever before, big people, and sick people alike are suffering from a form of malnutrition – or rather, dys-nutrition. A cheap, addictive diet makes the poor pile on the pounds. They exercise less as a result – and pay the price. For the first time in history, the poor are fat and the rich thin.[3]

Fat man fishing


Factors Behind the Epidemic of Obesity and Chronic Disease


Environmental Chemicals and Food Additives: Invisible Toxins

Every year thousands of man-made chemicals are used at every stage of food production, and to keep our food, bodies and homes looking beautiful and running cheaply. Most do not biodegrade, and are very difficult to excrete, so an average adult accumulates between 300 and 500 different chemicals in their body. Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton’s extensive research has shown that the levels of pesticides and synthetic chemicals eaten and used in our everyday domestic environments are enough to significantly disrupt our hormones and metabolisms and cause, among other things, very significant weight gain.[4] In her books The Body Restoration Plan and Stop the 21st Century Killing You, she introduces the concept of Chemical Calories, i.e. foods high in synthetic chemicals[5] that will disrupt our body’s natural adaptive ability to maintain a steady, healthy weight, which she calls our ‘Slimming System’.

She quotes studies showing that organophosphates, carbamates, hexacholorobenzene, thyroid drugs, steroids, anti-depressants and antibiotics all promote weight gain, either by slowing the metabolic rate and making us avoid exercise or by damaging the appetite ‘switch’ and the body’s ability to burn off extra food or existing fat stores. Since the 1970s, farmers have been using these very chemicals deliberately to fatten their livestock more quickly while reducing their feed bills. Broiler chickens for example, reached their shelf weight on 40% less food in 2000 compared to 1976. Organochlorides, which include DDT and lindane and PCBs or plastic residues, are the worst, as they are very stable and fat-soluble. Even though most have been banned in Europe for decades, they are still present in the food chain and our bodies. In the US they are still on sale in children’s head lice shampoos, flea powders, lawn treatments and fire retardants (e.g. in children’s nightdresses).

Once in the system, these toxins are not passive. It used to be thought that the body just stores any toxins it can’t deal with, but now it is understood that fat and any toxins in it circulate through the gut daily, and an individual’s fat is regarded as a hormone-like organ. At least this provides a window of opportunity to chelate and detoxify, and Dr Baillie-Hamilton gives an excellent protocol to do this,[6] but the ingredients required are not generally found in any quantity or quality in your typical Western diet – high doses of  anti-oxidants, B vitamins, trace minerals and Essential Fatty Acids, soluble fibre (oats, psyllium husks, fruit pectins, pulses) and amino acids.

She also emphasizes that for the detoxification enzymes to work properly, the correct pH balance (alkaline) is essential. However, our typical meat and dairy-based diet, including fizzy drinks, refined foods, caffeine and virtually nothing fresh or raw, makes the system far too acidic.[7]

Chemical Cocktails

The food industry has always had to check for ‘safe’ levels of these chemicals, but until this year, they had never been assessed in combination. In March, Professor Vyvyan Howard, Development Toxicopathogist at Liverpool University, published his findings that show the neurotoxic effects of cocktails of common food additives are far more potent than on their own.[8] The worst combination is E104 Quinoline Yellow, E133 Brilliant Blue, E951 aspartame and E621 MSG – all of which are ‘excitotoxins’ and are found in popular (non-organic) snacks, drinks and products for children’s lunchboxes. At levels after a typical child’s snack and drink, these four additives stop nerve cells from normal growth and interfere with proper signalling systems. They are also addictive.

Adulterated Foods

Most of the worst examples of adulterated food are driven by two imperatives: bigger profit margins and the need for a longer shelf life. Hydrogenated fats win top prizes on both counts. You take cheap vegetable oil (soya in particular – which is usually GM) and turn it into stuff that behaves like expensive butter, and extends the shelf life of the pastries, biscuits, cakes and vegetarian sausages it goes into, from days to months.

For a ‘double whammy’, the molecules of trans fats block the body’s ability to use any essential fatty acids (EFAs). These are crucial. Twenty percent of the brain is composed of EFAs and our bodies can’t make them. As our ability to fulfil our potential to learn and our IQ depend largely on the quality of the fats we (and our mothers) eat, we should not be too aghast to learn that The Learning and Skills Council have reported that since almost half of adults in the UK do not have the numerical skills to understand percentages, we can’t understand the labels telling us which foods to avoid because they are unhealthy and bad for our brains! Sixty-two percent misunderstood Tesco’s Percentage of Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) – their alternative to the much simpler Traffic Light system, which was still misunderstood by 21%.[9]
More DALYs (disability adjusted life years) are lost from early death plus disability, due to mental health problems, than either cardiovascular disease or cancer. In England, the figures are 24%, 18.6% and 15% respectively.[10] Meanwhile in France, the depression capital of the world (22% of the population), Dr David Servan-Schreiber is curing his patients not with Prozac and hours on his psychiatrist’s couch, but with sardines (omega-3 fatty acids), a wholefood diet and simple techniques to ‘bring the emotional brain to rest’.[11]

MSG is very widely used as a  flavour enhancer, but as the food manufacturers themselves admit, it also addicts people to their products. MSG causes obesity; it is how obese rats or mice needed for lab experiments are created. Injecting them with MSG at birth triples the amount of insulin made by the pancreas, and causes obesity. Ironically, MSG is used especially in the ‘healthy low fat’ foods, and in virtually all the food on the menu at fast food chains and restaurants.

It goes under many names, including Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein and ‘natural flavourings’. MSG is linked to diabetes, migraines and headaches, autism, ADHD and Alzheimer’s. The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food, claiming it is safe in any amount.

Aspartame, often called ‘Nutrasweet’, is in most low calorie fizzy drinks, and in children’s ‘toothkind’ or ‘no sugar added’ squashes that their mothers carefully choose for them. And, of course, in many low calorie foods. Well, it must be better for us than sugar? The trouble is that it affects the nervous system and perpetuates the sugar cravings dieters are trying so desperately to lose. So choosing the fizzy drinks with the full sugar content would be a better option – if it were not for the fact that the ‘natural sweeteners’ are not sugar but corn syrup, Japanese food scientists first discovered how to make high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the 1970s. It is eight times sweeter than cane sugar, so when Pepsi and Coca-cola switched to HFCS in the early 1980s they saved 20% on sweetener costs, and were able to increase their portion sizes dramatically to give them a ‘market edge’.[12]

Hybridization, Subsidies and Glycaemic Index

Corn was first hybridized by Donald F Jones in America, 60 years ago. He found that when two inbred lines of maize were crossed, it increased the yield enormously. As the price dropped, corn was fed to chickens and cattle, causing the cost of meat to plunge too – and its consumption to escalate. Corn is processed, selling the protein to livestock farmers and leaving the food scientists to come up with ways of using up the oil and starch. Today, a quarter of all our processed foods contain maize. But thanks to the US government subsidizing soya since the 1970s to the tune of 70%, no less than two-thirds of our processed foods contain soya or its derivatives! So subsidies and hybridization have completely distorted the Western (now global) diet.[13]

As Dr Michel Montignac, the French specialist in treating obesity, emphasizes, “All studies have shown that the higher the yield of a variety, the higher its glycemic index (GI) and the lower its nutritional value”.[14] In the mid-1980s the Pima Indians, who live on a reserve in Arizona, quite suddenly all developed diabetes and obesity. The experts were flown in to analyze any changes in their calories and lifestyles, but numerically, there was little difference. The ‘thrifty gene’ theory was examined but it did not hold up. The only thing that had changed was that instead of growing their own scrawny maize (‘Indian Corn’, their staple food) and eating it as porridge and tortillas, they had started to import lovely big, plump, cheap, hybridized ‘sweetcorn’ – and they had started to eat burgers and fizzy drinks, which meant, as Steve Jones, professor of genetics at UCL pointed out in the Daily Telegraph,[15] they are still eating maize, “the only difference is that it has been through a cow, a chicken or a cola can first.” Indian Corn’s GI is 35 and hybrid corn is double that at 70. But by processing any food, its GI continues to rise. Cornstarch is 95 and corn syrup nearly 100 – hence the diabetes and obesity.

Cravings, Addictions and Vicious Circles

Having worked with people with Candida, gut dysbiosis and chronic fatigue for 14 years, I am only too aware how many vicious circles develop as soon as systems get out of balance. The more depressed, exhausted or in pain you feel, the more you will tend to rely on ‘energy boosting’ drinks, drugs, alcohol, stimulants and convenience foods. Dieting makes you fat. Junk food is not satisfying. The unhealthiest foods tend to have the biggest profit margins and, therefore, the biggest advertising spenders are behind them.[16] The more fastidious the mother, the more likely her children will have allergies and recurrent infections. If you have osteoporosis, drinking milk will make it worse.[17] The more processed and tasteless food becomes, the more artificial sweeteners and flavour enhancers are used. But by far the most widespread and difficult to crack, I think, are food intolerances and cravings.[18]

Food cravings can simply be our body’s way of crying out for some nutrients – but sugar, highly refined foods, artificial sweeteners and caffeine drive a rollercoaster of hypoglycaemia and sugar cravings that is impossible to get off (long-term) unless you understand what is happening and treat the root causes. The offending foods are usually the ones we eat most of and most frequently, which is why people don’t realize they are a problem, and why (initially) it seems so difficult to eliminate them. By far the most common are wheat and dairy, and in the US, soya and corn as well. These are some of the most hybridized and intensively farmed foods, which may be why our digestive systems seem to have the most trouble knowing how to deal with them. Significantly, most wheat intolerant individuals are fine with Spelt – the unhybridized wheat eaten by the Romans, Celts and our ancestors. Similarly, many people who can’t cope with cows’ products are okay with goats’ and sheeps’ products, particularly yoghurts.

Food intolerances are caused by too acidic a system, weakened digestive enzymes and a ‘leaky’ gut – all of which stem from a poor diet (including lack of breast feeding), dieting, stress, antibiotics and steroidal drugs (including The Pill and Hormone Replacement Therapy). The short-term effect of a food intolerance is an ‘alarm’ from the immune system, causing an adrenal ‘high’ which gives you the craving – to the point of an addiction in some cases. The longer term effects are exhaustion, depression, pain and inflammation, brain fog, or in children, hyperactivity.

Here’s another big vicious circle: The Problem with Chemical Farming is that it depletes the very nutrients our bodies need to detoxify the chemicals.

Man-made fertilizers and pesticides may produce greater yields, but they damage the ecological balance in the soil which diminishes the goodness in the crops. Healthy soil needs worms, bacteria and mycorrhiza (delicate fungal webs which symbiotically help the plants absorb nutrients in return for their food), and for the trace minerals to be replaced through composts and/or alluvial deposits. None of these feature in ‘modern’ agriculture, with the result that the levels of minerals and other nutrients in our fruit and vegetables have been falling alarmingly since 1947, when The Agriculture Act set us on the path of mass production of cheap food by using chemicals.[19]

Table 1. Drop in the Mineral Content of Vegetables between 1939 and 199120 Table 2. Drop in the Mineral Content of Fruit between 1939 and 199120
Sodium: – 49%
Potassium: – 16%
Magnesium: – 24%
Calcium: – 46%
Iron: – 27%
Copper: – 76%
Zinc: – 59%
Sodium: – 29%
Potassium: – 19%
Magnesium: – 16%
Calcium: – 16%
Iron: – 24%
Copper: – 20%
Zinc: – 27%

In 1995, David Thomas PhD, a fellow McTimoney chiropractor and geologist, compared the government statistics from The Composition of Foods for nine minerals in our fruit and vegetables in 1941 with those in 1991.[20] Between the beginning of the Second World War and 1991, the mineral content of vegetables analysed dropped as shown in Table 1 above. The corresponding figures for fruit are shown in Table 2. What he showed is astonishing. There is 75% less calcium in broccoli, 60% less iron in spinach, 75% less magnesium in carrots and 67% less iron in oranges than there was during the War. So now you know why we have to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and why we were the healthiest ever during and after the War, when 78% of
families grew their own vegetables and meat, sugar and fat were scarce.

Chart by Mark Hegsted, professor at Harvard. Hegsted DM. Calcium and Osteoporosis. J Nutr. 116: 2316-2319. 2000.
Chart by Mark Hegsted, professor at Harvard. Hegsted DM.
Calcium and Osteoporosis. J Nutr. 116: 2316-2319. 2000.


Is organic food more nutritious than conventionally grown food?

At the time of writing, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has resolutely refused to confirm that organic food is either more nutritious or safer than conventionally grown food. But a group of 14 scientists have just written to them with the results of a three year trial involving 36 UK farms, showing that the content of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA in particular) is on average 68% higher in organic milk. As Felicity Lawrence, the consumer affairs correspondent on the Guardian put it, “it turns out that ‘you are what you eat’ applies not just to humans but to cows too. Organic farmers generally use more clovers and grass forages, whereas intensively reared cows are fed more concentrates – a sort of fast food for cattle made of imported soya (which is high in omega-6 and low in omega-3), and cereals or by-products.’ In other words, during the winter months and especially with high yielding cows, non-organic school milk contains virtually none of benefits of omega-3s for brain development, the heart and immune system and tumour inhibition. The same goes for non-organic beef; CLA is also vital for weight management.[21] If the FSA does confirm that organic milk is better for us, it will be a watershed for the general public’s understanding that our health depends on real, naturally produced food. And there are many other trials looking at the nutritional quality of organic vegetables and fruit waiting in the wings.

The Good Gardeners’ Association (GGA) in the UK is going ‘Beyond Organic’ with a four-year trial looking at soil quality, and determining values for essential nutrients in our food that are known to provide health and vitality.[22] Newcastle University is running its Quality, Low Input Food (QLIF) trials on taste and nutritional value for three years,[23] and several more institutions, in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, have been doing essential research into Organic Food Quality and Health for longer.[24]

James Cleaton, for the Soil Association, and Virginia Worthington have both published meta-analyses, gathering considerable evidence for the benefits of organic foods, including trace minerals, vitamins, EFAs, anti-oxidants and phenolics.[25] However the FSA have never acknowledged this.

There is no doubt that organic food tastes better. Firstly, organic food is 21% higher in natural sugars. Secondly, the pesticides affect our sense of taste and smell as we are eating them,[26] and thirdly, chemically grown produce contains an average of 25% more water.[27] Bear all this in mind, plus the real levels of nutrients, the next time you are wondering whether you can justify paying 40% more for organic carrots.

However, an organic certificate does not necessarily mean that food has been grown on optimum soils (the BioDynamic and Demeter symbols do guarantee this), nor that it is freshly picked. As the demand for cheaper organic food increases through supermarket pressures, its nutritional qualities may decrease – particularly if it has been imported.[28] Over 70% of organic food in the UK is imported – mostly by supermarkets who also demand the same ‘Permanent Global Summer Time’ for organic produce as for chemically assisted crops.[29] Whatever its quality, it will certainly have clocked up the food miles.[30] It is, therefore, better to buy from local farmers you know and trust – whether they are certified organic or not. So eat seasonally, and hunt out your local farm shops and organic box delivery schemes.

This chart was published in 2000, using 87 surveys in 33 countries by The Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
This chart was published in 2000, using 87 surveys in 33 countries by
The Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
They called it Worldwide Incidence of Hip fracture in Elderly Women:
Relation to Consumption of Animal and Vegetable Protein. Frassetto LA, et al.
J Gerontology. 55. M585-M592. 2000.


Everything Good has to Start with a Healthy Soil

The informed public has understood the importance of the good micro-organisms in the gut for ten years.[31] Now we have got to get the message about the importance of the micro-organisms in the soil.

As the agricultural scientist Sir George Stapledon wrote, “The soil is like no other material used in industry: it is a material pulsating with life, but easily prone to sickness and easy to destroy totally. Active soil capable of promoting healthy plant growth is a strictly limited commodity on our planet. To realize this fully is a first essential to a deep appreciation of the true significance of agriculture’’.[32]

Sir Albert Howard proved this during his years of research in India between the Wars. He concluded that the health of soil, plants, animals and humans formed ‘one connected chain’. And that ‘any weakness or defect in the health of any earlier link in the chain is carried on to the next and succeeding links, until it reaches the last, namely, man.’[33]

Evidence that Good Soils and a Plant-Based Diet Translate into Good Health

There is a wealth of well-researched and documented evidence gathered by nutritionist pioneers in the first half of last century, and the Soil Association has just re-published them in full.[34] Farmers of Forty Centuries – Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan by FH King, was first published in 1911. In 1961, Dr Robert McCarrison described the “races of northern India whose physique and health, when they make use of their national diets in their entirety, are unsurpassed by any other races of mankind”. He also maintained rats ‘in perfect health’ with the same diet.[35]

For more recent evidence, we need look no further than the hundreds of gold-standard studies in The China Study, by T Colin Campbell and Thomas M Campbell, reviewed in the September issue of Positive Health by David Lorimer.

Colin Campbell began his career researching the links between diet and cancer in rural China. As a meat-loving boy from a dairy farming family, and an ‘establishment’ scientist, he was stunned to find that people who eat an unrefined, largely vegan diet don’t get cancer.

Nor heart disease – 17 American men get heart disease for every Chinaman. Nor osteoporosis – while the countries which drink the most milk have the highest incidence of hip fractures. Nor do people eating a traditional diet get any of the other degenerative diseases he calls the ‘diseases of affluence’. And sadly, just to prove the point, with ‘urbanization’ and the Western diet arriving in China within the last few years, nearly 15% of Chinese children now are overweight, with 2.3% obese, and rising.[36]

Campbell concludes, “There is no such thing as a special diet for cancer and a different, equally special diet for heart disease. The same diet that is good for the prevention of cancer is also good for the prevention of heart disease, as well as obesity, diabetes, cataracts, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, cognitive dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and other diseases’’.

Furthermore, he and others whom he cites found that even quite advanced cases of diseases can be reversed with the same diet. Drs Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn, in particular, have had striking successes in reversing severe heart disease using a whole, plant-based diet. Dr Max Gerson (merely mentioned in a footnote by Campbell) had been successfully treating cancer with a near vegan, intensive vegetable juice diet since the 1930s, and that the same diet also cured TB and migraines.[37] More recently, Professor Jane Plant found that dairy caused her breast cancer to recur. She faced breast cancer five times since 1987, has been cancer free for 12 years since cutting out dairy, as she describes in Your Life in Your Hands.[38]

Cutting Things Out is the Problem, Not the Solution

Are the healthy souls in China so well because they do not eat meat and drink milk or is it because, since they do not take milk and meat, they must be having plenty of vegetables and herbs? I suspect the latter. Campbell is far from alone in telling us to cut out milk, meat, fat….we get it all the time. But the trouble is that the very life has been cut out of so much of our Western diet, long before we have any choices to make. When flour is refined, 98% of the goodness is stripped out before they are ‘fortified’ by adding back four or five ‘essential’ vitamins. Chemical farming, hybridization and processing deplete the goodness in foods (often to the point of turning them into non-foods) as well as add toxins that our bodies have to deal with. As long as they have plenty of nutrients, our bodies can deal with them, but in many urban or poor areas, particularly in the US and the UK, it is no longer possible to buy ‘perishables’ i.e. fresh fruit and vegetables. As Campbell found, cancer rates were five to eight times higher in areas where fruit intake was lowest, and that the same was true for CHD and stroke.

It will be some time before the Western world comes to its senses, but in the meantime, as individuals, enjoying health and energy is pretty straight forward. As long as we are getting plenty of vital nutrients, we don’t have to be fundamentalist vegans, teetotalers or bores!

Remember We are Part of Nature

As Adrian Myers says in Organic Futures,”[39] We are faced with a choice, not between going backwards of forwards, but between two alternative futures: one based on life-harming activities and the wish to dominate Nature, the other based on life-sustaining activities and the recognition that we are part of Nature”.

Our pH Balance is Fundamental

The China Study mentions the metabolic acid load when explaining why drinking milk, far from building us ‘big strong bones and teeth’ causes osteoporosis and the whole gamut of ‘diseases of affluence.’[40] But our pH balance is fundamental to all aspects of health and disease. The typical Western Diet and lifestyle adds up to complete over-acidity, creating the conditions for toxicity, overgrowth of harmful microforms, mal-absorption and degenerative disease. While a whole, plant-based diet is as Nature intended, and provides everything the body needs to maintain a slightly alkaline, healthy internal environment in which the body can take care of itself. Dr Robert Young explains all this from his background as one of the greatest experts in Live Blood Microscopy in the world, in his superb book and lifestyle programme, The pH Miracle.[41]

The Good News Is, You Can Relax!

When you have a wholesome diet and lifestyle, and you take care to avoid synthetic chemicals, calories become irrelevant. So does fretting over your levels of B6 or selenium, how many grams of fat you have had today, the glycemic load of your lunch or whether you’re in ketosis yet.

All you have to do to enjoy and remain in robust health is to eat real food: find good quality, whole, plant-based food that is fresh, local and grown in healthy soil. Then do as little as possible to it, in the traditional ways.

Healthy bodies have an ‘Innate Intelligence’, Vital Force or Qi, that can cope with an impressive amount of toxins, inappropriate foods and stress, as long as they have the vital materials to do it.

Twenty-One Low-tech Ways to Live Long and Die ‘Young’, Gracefully. Hopefully you will be doing many of the following already – depending on how many you still want to introduce, make a two to four months plan, setting realistic targets:

1. Find your local farmers’ market, farm shops, organic box delivery schemes and independent health food shop. Start with or and word of mouth;
2. Buy whole and local or organic, especially dry and fresh staples, salads, salmon, spinach, strawberries, butter and apples. Think twice before buying imported stuff. Store everything carefully as their shelf life will not be as long as supermarket food;
3. To maximize your nutrients and flavour: scrub rather than peel your (organic) root vegetables and fruit; minimize your cooking heat, time and water – then keep the water for soups and sauces or drink it. Cook with love and eat when you are happy and among friends. CHEW your food thoroughly! Don’t keep food warm and don’t use a microwave. If you cut out salt for a week, you’ll find you won’t need or miss it in future;
4. Every day, drink at least two pints of plain, still, filtered water (hot or cold) and ban fizzy drinks. Cut down on coffee and alcohol – then stick to the good stuff;
5. Switch to natural cleaning and beauty products. Ecover, Weleda, Green People are all great;
6. Cook with organic olive oil or butter at low heats. Fatty or oily foods absorb plastic residues, so don’t let cling film touch them, or put them in plastic containers while warm (and never in the microwave);
7. Start the day with hot water and lemon or ginger, some fresh fruit, then oats soaked in apple juice with ground nuts and seeds;
8. Start skin brushing daily (it takes two minutes);
9. Get sprouting. Mung beans are the easiest. They cost pennies and are ready in three days;
10. If you don’t already, learn to cook! (see my website) Invest in two really good knives;
11. Ban packets except organic ones for emergencies (see my tips and recipes for Real Fast Food for Busy People;
12. Go on a vegetarian adventure. Collect and try out favourite recipes from friends. Aim to reach 90% whole and 80:20% plant:animal protein within the first eight weeks and invest the money you save in more organic food;
13. Check out my ‘cutting out dairy, wheat and meat’ pages. Note that if you have food intolerances, it is better to cut things out completely rather than gradually – but one thing at a time;
14. Sell your microwave, diet books and bathroom scales, and buy a food processor and water filter. If you are doing the above, you can cut down on those expensive supplements too;
15. Cycle to work. Join a weekly Yoga or Pilates class, and then practise for just four minutes every morning. Learn to meditate or get into Autogenic Training, Tai Chi or Qi Gong;
16. Give your face and forearms at least half-an-hour’s sunshine a day (even if it is cloudy or raining);
17. Find a Naturopath, Herbalist or Homoeopath. If you take any prescription or OTC drugs (even occasionally), discuss natural alternatives, given that the symptoms may go away with real food;[42]
18. As well as trusting in our body’s instinct to heal, never forget that the most powerful ‘remedy’ of all is the feeling of love and being connected – whether with your family or community, a pet or your plants;
19. Join the Soil Association, the Good Gardeners’ Association or Henry Doubleday Research Association;
20. Start a compost heap and even a wormery. Plant some herbs, salad or vegetables, whether in window boxes, pots or your garden, or get an allotment. Check out No Dig Gardening with the GGA;
21. If you have them, get your children or grand-children involved in cooking and growing things – and their school.



1.    Glenville M PhD. Fat Around the Middle. p28. National Sizing Survey. Department of Health 2005. London. 2006.
2.    United Nations. August 2006.
3.    Jones S Prof. Blame Your Size on your DNA? Fat chance. Daily Telegraph. August 16 2006.
4.    Baillie-Hamilton P Dr. Stop the 21st Cenury Killing You. Vermillion. 2005.
Baillie-Hamilton P Dr. The Body Restoration Plan. Penguin 2002. (Environmental Toxins and Weight Gain. Positive Health. Issue 120. Feb 2006. Also, Downs G. The Health Risks of Pesticides. Positive Health. Issue 126. Aug 2006.)
5.    Baillie-Hamilton P Dr. Stop the 21st Cenury Killing You. Vermillion. 2005. Baillie-Hamilton P Dr. The Body Restoration Plan. Penguin 2002. The foods that are highest in chemical calories. pp91-92. (The Dirty Dozen: butter, salmon, spinach, strawberries, cream cheese, raisins, red apples, gerkins, squash, green peppers, collards, processed cheese. All of these, apart form the butter and cheeses, are high on most dieters’ list as ‘healthy foods’.)
6.    Baille-Hamilton P Dr. The Body Restoration Plan. Penguin 2002. Shed Your Body’s Stores of Chemical Calories. pp158-175. Chapter 14.
7.    Young R PhD and Redford Young S. The pH Miracle. Time Warner Books. 2002.
8. For more details.
9.    Food Standards Agency. Synovate survey. 2005.
10.    Holistic Health. No.76. p13. Spring 2003.
11.    Servan-Schreiber D Dr. The Instinct to Heal: Curing Depression, Anxiety and Stress Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy. Rodale Books. 2004. Ode Magazine. Vol 4. Issue 6. July/August 2006.
12.    Lawrence F. Not on the Label. pp196-7. Penguin Books. 2004.
13.    Lawrence F. Not on the Label. p199. Penguin Books. 2004.
14.    Montignac M Dr. The Montignac Method Just For Children. p67. London. 2004.
15.    Jones S Prof. Blame Your Size on your DNA? Fat chance. Daily Telegraph. August 16 2006.
16.    Food Standards Agency. p20. (Around £600 million is spent on food advertising in the UK per year. In comparison, in 2000-2001, the FSA spent £9.7 million on nutrition and diet analysis to help health promotion.) Strategic Plan 2001-2006. London.
17.    Campbell TC PhD and Campbell II. TM. The China Study. pp204-211. First BenBella Books. Dallas. 2005.
18.    McWhirter J. The Practical Guide to Candida. pp 11-16. All Hallow House Foundation 1997. (Includes how to identify and treat food intolerances.) See also Brostoff J Dr and Gamlin. L. Food Allergy and Intolerance. Bloomsbury. 1989.
19.    Lorimer D. Radical Prince. Chapter 2. Working with the Grain: Organic Agriculture and Gardening. Floris. 2003.
20.    Thomas D. A Case for the Need for Mineral Supplementation. Cranio-View. May 2000. (Available as a PDF from Why Fruit and Vegetables Were Better for Us 50 Years Ago. Daily Mail. March 5 2001.
21.    Felicity Lawrence. The Guardian. Why is Organic Milk Healthier? 31st August 2006. Dr Mike Pirizza at the University of Wisconsin pioneered the work on conjugated linoleic acid and beef in the 90s. Journal of American Sciences. 78(11): 2849-55. 2000.
23.    A £12 million project with 31 partners across Europe studying taste and nutritional value in food.
24.    Organic Food Quality and Health. The Netherlands.
25.    Cleaton J. Organic foods in relation to nutrition and health: key facts. Soil Association. 2004. Worthington V. Organic farming, food quality and human health. Review of the evidence. Soil Association.
26.    Baillie-Hamilton P Dr. The Body Restoration Plan. Penguin 2002. (Environmental Toxins and Weight Gain. Positive Health. Issue 120. Feb 2006. Also, Downs G. The Health Risks of Pesticides. Positive Health. Issue 126. Aug 2006.)
27.    If you don’t believe me, cook an organic and non-organic chicken and cubed aubergine and weigh them both before and after – or just grate cucumbers and compare how much water you can squeeze out. Lady Eve Balfour said that chemical farming was “a very expensive way of making water stand up’’. Felicity Lawrence describes how cheap chicken is “bulked up’’ with 50% of its weight in water. p15.
28.    British organic standards are among the highest in the world. Since there are no tests for proving food is organic, you have to follow a paper trail. The Observer. “Bogus organic produce hits UK.’’ August 21 2005.
29.    Blythman J. Shopped. Chapter 11. Fourth Estate. 2002.
30.    Focus on Ports. DoE: HMSO DETR 2000. (Between 1989 and 1999 farming and food traded by road in the UK increased by 90%. UK airfreight doubled over the same period.)
31.    Mintel. Market for probiotic yoghurts and drinks is the fastest growing in the functional foods sector. It has grown by 183%, from £97 million in 2001 to £275 million in 2005. (The link between health, longevity and the proper balance of beneficial organisms in the body was first discovered by Elie Metchnikoff, a Russian Nobel laureate bacteriologist in 1908. We should have three pounds of gut flora, which ideally should be in the ratio of 80:20 good to bad – but stool analysis in North America has shown that today, it is 45:55 – average.)
32.    Stapledon G Sir. (1882-1960). Human Ecology.
33.    Howard A Sir. An Agricultural Testament. The Other Indian Press. 1956.
34. (Also Marsh DE. Soil Mineral Deficiency and Viral Mutation: Nutritional Agricultural and Geographic Influences. Positive Health. Issue 124. p28-31. June 2006. Hum M. Soil Mineral Depletion, Can a healthy soil be sufficient? Optimum Nutrition. Vol 19.3. Autumn 2006.)
35.    McCarrison R Sir. Nutrition and Health. Faber and Faber. 1961.
36.    The Guardian. August 18 2006.
37.    Gerson M Dr. A Cancer Therapy, Results of Fifty Cases. Totality Books. 1958.
38.    Plant J Prof. Your Life in Your Hands – Understanding, Preventing and Overcoming Breast Cancer. Virgin Books. 2003.
39.    Myers A. Organic Futures: The Case for Organic Farming. p13. Green Books. 2005.
40.    Campbell TC PhD and Campbell II. TM. The China Study. p205. First BenBella Books. Dallas. 2005.
41. Young R PhD and Redford Young S. The pH Miracle. Time Warner Books. 2002.
42.    Holford P and Burn J. Food is Better Medicine than Drugs. Piatkus. 2006.


  1. shrabanti nath said..

    Which foods are urgently being obese?

« Prev Next »

Post Your Comments:

About Jane Lorimer

Jane Lorimer MA (Hons) DC MOA (née McWhirter), qualified as a McTimoney Chiropractor in 1989 and worked for 21 years before deregistering while she completes a Naturopathic Nutrition diploma with the CNM. She has been cooking for nearly 40 years, but her special interest in Nutrition and Real Food began shortly after she set up The Wren Clinic, a holistic health centre in the City of London, in 1990 – before people knew what either Candida or organic food was. Many of their clients were ‘Tired All the Time’, with a whole range of complaints and no diagnosis. As almost all were treated successfully with Real Food and the naturopathic protocol for gut dysbiosis, she set up a Candida Support Group. When a small mention of this in the Daily Mail produced a deluge of enquiries from all over the UK, she collated a Directory of Practitioners Who Treat Candida Holistically and wrote The Practical Guide to Candida in 1995 (updated in 1997). She ran Candida Workshops with Gill Jacobs until 1998 when they made a video, Clear from Candida. The DVD, Clear from Candida is still available from Jane. It includes an hour’s cooking demonstration and recipes, Gillian Hamer explaining what is Candida and How should I treat it? and Gill Jacobs on Stress, Emotions and the Immune System.
She started giving her Healthy Cooking Courses and demonstrations again in 2004.She married David, Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, and they moved to Fife, Scotland in 1996, where they have been putting their health hunches to the test. So far neither Jane or David nor their two children, now 13 and 16, have needed to see a GP (not counting a few stitches!). She may be contacted at

  • mycology research MRL

    MRL markets mushroom products food grade US & Netherlands GMP standards. Health Professional Videos

  • Water for Health

    Specialist online health store focused on hydration, body pH balance and quality nutrition.

  • nutrition and cancer

    by Sandra Goodman PhD The latest scientific research regarding Nutrition and Cancer. Full details at

  • Seaweed as Superfood

    Comprehensive nutrient balance found in no other natural food but seaweed: colon health, weight loss

  • June Sayer Homeopathy

    Training Academy Homeopathy Nutrition Reiki, Distant Learning. Diet, Health Screening, Detox, Stress

  • Ultimate Body Detox

    Immune system support & heavy metal detox - 3 powerful products: ACS 200, ACZ Nano & ACG Glutathione

  • College of Ayurveda UK

    Diploma in Āyurvedic Medicine, 4-year self-paced distant learning program in Āyurvedic medicine.

  • Supercoherence-System

    Supercoherence master code can restore each human to their pristine pure state at the speed of light

  • Liposomal Nutrients

    Optimum system for nutrient delivery to cells - fully bioavailable vitamins absorbed and metabolised

top of the page