March Madness II - Senate names March "National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month" and A Happy Meal Celebrates It's 1st Birthday

March is turning out to be an interesting month filled with nutritional awareness- See, I told you 2010 was going to be a ROCK'in year:-)

Senate resolution S.RES.372, introduced by Michigan Senator Carl Levin, was passed on March 4, 2010 to designate March as National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month. The initiative will support the efforts of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) to increase awareness and research funding for autoimmune diseases.

AARDA President and Executive Director said, “This is a day of celebration for autoimmune disease patients around the country…fewer than 13% of Americans can name, unaided, an autoimmune disease. This is staggering when one considers that there are 100+ known autoimmune diseases, all of which are chronic, many life-threatening, and that as a category, autoimmune diseases are one of the top 10 killers of women under the age of 65.”

So what does AARDA want Americans to be aware of during “National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month”?

1. Be aware that autoimmune diseases target women; 75% of patients are women.

2. Know that autoimmune diseases tend to cluster in families. If your mother had rheumatoid arthritis and your sister had Crohn’s disease, you could be at higher risk than usual.

3. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise in the U.S. and around the world, celiac disease has tripled in the past 10 years in Minnesota alone.

4. Because of lack of early diagnosis and onset of treatment, healthcare costs for autoimmune diseases are overwhelming for patients and the healthcare system.

5. Everyone should know the facts about autoimmune disease.

For more information on autoimmune diseases and to learn more about what you need to know about autoimmune diseases, visit the AARDA Website at http://www.aarda.org.
* Source: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)
Being that March is also National Nutrition Month, we found many articles which should become valuable tools in helping us understand where we err in the course of looking for a balanced healthy diet.
Of course, American families are tempted by the fast food nation conglomeration of choices at a cheap price. If you are gluten free, that thankfully narrows the field of fast food restaurants we can frequent.

Something seems severely unbalanced to me in that graph. As a side note, the majority of those subsidies are through the federal corn subsidies since corn is used to produce, animal feeds, sugars, etc.

Did you know?

■Many meat animals are fattened on corn (US livestock are the biggest consumers of corn in the world).

■Between 1995-2005 the US government paid farmers a total subsidy of $51,261,278,801 to grow corn.

■Between 1989 and 1999 consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup increased from 47.2 pounds per person per year to 60.3 pounds (source).

The problem is not so much that "corn is evil" - it's the lack of diversity and moderation in our diets.
If you grab a Big Mac, Fries and a Coke. The following ingredients have some form of corn: the Bun (HFCS), the Coke (HFCS), the Fries (corn oil), the Ketchup (HFCS and corn syrup), the Big Mac Sauce (HFCS, Hydrolyzed corn), the cheese (corn starch). That leaves the beef patty - made from beef that was fattened with... corn.

However - it gets worse. A newly released study looked into Genetically-modified corn. The research showed that rats fed Monsanto's MON863 maize showed "signs of toxicity" in the liver and kidneys.

MON863 corn is genetically modified to make it resistant to corn rootworm.

MON863 has been grown in the US and Canada since 2003 (source).

Now, if you choose to do as we did, and eliminate fast food from your diet, you will rejoice in seeing this next picture. This picture and article is about a one year old happy meal that hasn't deteriorated.

That's some serious food for thought.

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