Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Recommended Movie list Nutritional/environmental must see movies!!

                 Tabor Hill Clinic Portland, OR 97215
2/13/13 Russell Marz, N.D., L.Ac.
President Omnivite Nutrition Inc.
Director Tabor Hill Clinic
Mission Statement-
As the president of Omnivite Nutrition Inc. and the director of the Tabor Hill Clinic I am in the business of improving the health of people and the planet earth. We are in a very critical stage in human history. Our survival on the earth as well as that of all other species depends on being educated and making conscious decisions.
I have selected the movies below as educational tools to learn more about food, medicine, environmental issues, politics, history and generally the survival of the human species.  Some of these movies are in the form of: a documentary, a docu-drama, an interview, a biography, or a semi-fictional educational experience. They will be both entertaining and educational. There are some science fiction movies included as well that bring up important social, ethical and philosophical issues and allow for thought provoking ideas.
The following movies I recommend to see in the following rough chronological order:
Genetic Roulette   2012 by Jeffrey Smith (I’m in it very briefly) critical movie about genetically modified food
Fluoridealert.com google Fluoride:Let the Truth be Told Interview with Dr. Paul Connett & Dr. Hardy Limeback a scientific discussion on the research done on fluoride
“Forks Over Knives” 2011 about “The China Study” sustainable and healthy food- Very convincing
“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” 2010 Joe Cross http://www.hulu.com/watch/289122/fat-sick-and-nearly-dead (watch for free) documentary about 2 obese men who transform their lives by juicing!
Tapped (2010) and Flow (2008) ­- regarding bottled water and the water crisis
Queen of the Sun (2010) Taggart Siegel & Silence of the Bees (2007) Doug Shultz. 40% of food from bees!
The Future of Food 2005 by Debra Garcia (a very informative film about our food, the nature of genetically modified foods and how they may effect the biodiversity of our food supply. This film includes info on: the loss of small farms, the growing dependence upon oil for agriculture and how Monsanto Corp. is genetically modifying & patenting seeds in order to control the world’s food supply.
The Seeds of Deception (3 CD collection) by Jeffrey Smith concerning the history and deleterious effects of genetically modified foods. Read The Botany of Desire The Omnivores Dilemma,  Defending Food  M. Pollen
Read The Botany of Desire and The Omnivores Dilemma,  Defending Food  Michael Pollen for great followup.
The World According to Monsanto 2008- The history of Monsanto & how they have come to dominate our food supply. Sweet Misery A Poisoned World- How Nutrasweet came to be legal when it never should have.
Food Inc. 2009 (about the food industry Michael Pollen and Eric Schossler (Fast Food Nation & Chew on This) narrate and direct. Fast Food Nation- based on the book by Eric Schoosler
The Real Dirt On Farmer John 2006 (about a Midwest farmer’s story and local farming vs agribusiness) There is also a book to compliment the movie that has additional information.
Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction (2009) documentary narrated by Peter Coyote on how humans are causing the greatest mass extinction since a comet hit earth 63 million yrs ago. Great Interviews with scientists.
The 11th Hour- Leo Dicaprio excellent documentary on the “big picture”, and how humans need to wake up to the fact that they are causes dramatic changes in the health of the planet and how they may be causing permanent damage to ecosystems that may never recover. Solutions & answers are discussed related to these major problems humans face .http://wip.warnerbros.com/11thhour/mainsite/site.html each scientist is interviewed
The Corporation-2007 a documentary about how and why corporations have come about and how they have affected the environmental health of the planet. Great educational movie and a must see!
Hidden Wars of Dessert Storm (about the history of oil and important info on depleted uranium and “Gulf War Syndrome”) Also Gulf War Syndrome: Killing Our Own 2007 Gary Null important info on deplete U.
Why we fight very informative film about why we fight wars today
The Oil Factor- ’04 Ungerman & Brohy (has chapts on depleted uranium, oil & agric)
The End of Suburbia Kinslter an excellent film on peak oil and how and why and we have set up towns in unsustainable ways to accommodate cars and oil companies. It discusses ways we can create towns in more environmentally sustainable ways that don’t make us beholden to the oil industry.
Interview with Richard Heinberg about his book Powerdown: peak oil, sustainability of our culture and the end of the carbon based society. He Also wrote The Party’s Over: War, Oil, and the Fate of Industrialized Nations 2005 and Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century Of Declines. Discussion of the cultural, psychological and practical changes we will have to make as nature rapidly dictates our new limits.
The Return of the Scorcher Ted White-concerning bicycles and transportation and how we can change our psychological dependence on cars.
The Power of Community-How Cuba Survived Peak Oil- a very interesting movie on how Cuba adapted very rapidly to severe shortages of oil both from imposed sanctions from the U.S. & from no supplies from Soviet Union when they collapsed. 80% of farming went organic! People rode bikes instead! Also see you-tube learning from Cuba’s response to Peak Oil interview with Megan Quinn
Bowling for Columbine Michael Moore get the DVD, it has 4 more hrs of interviews especially with the people who did much of the research work for the film.
An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore 2006 this is an extremely well researched film on Global warming and the facts on our current global climate and economic situation.
The Tomato Effect by Faun Kime This movie concerns the death of environmentalist & physician Jeff Kime, who member of AAEM (Amer. Academy of Environmental Medicine).  Jeff was on the cutting edge of defending the practice of environmental medicine before his untimely death. Dr. Kime’s daughter Faun, who researches the death of her father, discusses the fate of other docs who are involved in environmental medicine.
The Power of the Sun-2007 a documentary film about using solar energy. The amount of energy that hits the earth from the sun for 1 hour provides enough energy to power the entire earth’s requirement for 1 year!
Stopping the Coming Ice Age by Larry Ephron discusses trace elements in the soil and feeding the microbes
Sicko Michael Moore’s movie about our current health care system, pharmaceuticals and the health insurance industry in the U.S.

Political Semi fictional movies

Good Night and Good Luck George Clooney (about McCarthism in the 50-60’s censorship)
Lord of War Nicolas Cage about global arms trade and U.S. & Russia
The Quiet American (Michael Caine, Brandon Frasier beautiful movie cinema photography Vietnam 1952 a real feel of what life was like with imperialist France and U.S. waiting in the wings, the movie was cut short for political reasons- a love story in the midst of political upheaval)
Blood Diamond- about the brutal existence of the people of Africa subjected to diamond trade
Children of Men (2007) – sci fi- about the loss of fertility among women and the possibility of the end of our species. Clive Owen, and Michael Caine  After seeing Gulf War Syndrome Killing Our Own especially
The constant Gardener Fines
The Day After Trinity:JR. Oppenheimer & the Atomic Bomb, Jon Else ‘81 Biography of Robert Oppenheimer & the story of the first Atomic bomb (Manhattan Project) & the life of one of the great geniuses of our time.
The Atomic Café a humorous and not so funny look about the history of atomic bombs
The Story of the Atomic Bomb: Trinity & Beyond 1996- Documentary U.S. nuclear tests conducted 1945-1963. Top secret development of atomic and hydrogen bombs with footage of some of the most incredible explosions ever seen
The Day After (Jason Robards- A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas 1983. A very real depiction of what can happen.
 “Robert Newman’s The history of oil” 2003 Go to “Googlec.com” on line and type in the title.  This is a brilliantly humorous stand up comic Robert Newman who is a both a historian and a comic.  The information is very thought provoking. The production is very eco conscious powering the show thru bicycle power.

Additional documentaries
Life After People (History Channel) (2008)
Clash of the Cavermen between Neanderthal & Cro Magnon.
The little ice age the big chill  2008 history channel

Additional movies
Fahrenheit 9/11 Michael Moore 2004- award winning documentary film that presents a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush, the "War on Terrorism", and its coverage in the American news media which were "cheerleaders" for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and did not provide an accurate and objective analysis of the rationale for the war or the resulting casualties there.
The Fog of War talks with Robert MacNamara, when he was defense secretary (and previous CEO of Chrysler Motor Corp.), and how the U.S. become so involved in the Vietnam war and how close we came to nuclear war in the early 60’s.
“Mind Walk”-1990 A US politician (Sam Waterston) visits his poet friend (John Heard) in Mont. St. Michael, France. While walking through the medieval island discussing their philosophies of life they happen upon Sonja (Liv Ullman), a scientist in recluse, who joins in their conversation. The two men listen to the ideas of this brilliant woman and discuss how her ideas can work in their own politician and poet lives. About the nature of physics and our universe
Motorcycle Diaries-2004 The Motorcycle Diaries adaptation of journal by Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna when age 23. He & friend, Alberto Granado are typical college students who, seeking fun and adventure before graduation, decide to travel across Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela in order to do their medical residency at a leper colony.
Crazy Sexy Cancer is produced by Red House Pictures & Cactus Three for TLC.    Kris Carr is writer, director, producer & cinematographer; Watching Kris’ honest journey thru the whole ordeal made me think that I need to take care of myself a lot better — especially as she resorted to a “healing diet” focused on veggies and such.
The Doctor 1991 William Hurt He was a doctor who thought he knew it all... until he became a patient.
Hoxy, the Quacks that Cure Cancer narrated by Peter Chokra
Patch Adams Robin Williams
Masks of Madness: Science of Healing A new documentary on the orthomolecular treatment of schizophrenia
Lorenzo’s Oil Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte give brilliant performances as parents trying to save the life of their son from adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare and incurable nerve disease that is always fatal. Based on a true story parents research essential oils to try and save their son.
Percy Julian: The Forgotten Genius documentary of one of the first Afro American Scientists from the 30’s whom was hired by Gliden Paints to develop a wide variety of uses for the soy bean including progesterone, cortisone & physostigmin &  compounds bisphenol A.
The Beautiful Truth-  2009 or 10Gerson therapy movie; The Gerson Miracle Charlotte Gerson; Eating  - The rave diet
Rx Generation -  many people including Micheal Moore talks in this one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Woman with rare  CA Extra ovarian primary peritoneal carcinoma stage 4This woman was filmed in Charlotte’s movie The Gerson Miracle 5 years earlier. It had metastasized to her bones, liver, kidney Tufts university published paper that 100% mortality with this cancer using chemo and raditation.
Please note that this movie list is continually being updated and some of the titles may not be exactly correct so you may email me at marznd@mac.com for further updates.  Thanks for watching!!!
Healing Cancer from the Inside Out by Mike Anderson.
Nutritional Medicine Alan Gaby, M.D. technical well referenced
Medical Nutrition from Marz  Russell Marz, N.D., L.Ac.
Garbage Land: On the Secrete Trail of Trash  Elizabeth Royte-
Diet and Nutrition, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D.
Cultures of Habitat On Nature, Culture & Story Nabhan 1997
Dr. Wright's  Healing with Nutrition  Jon Wright, M.D
Ecological Medicine Healing the Earth & Ourselves Ausubel 2004
Genetic Nutritioneering ‘99   Nutria-aerobics  / Jeff Bland, PhD
Fateful Harvest Wilson 2002
Nutrition Against Disease Roger Williams, Ph.D.
Hope’s Edge The Next Diet for a Small Planet Lappe 2003
The Complete Food Handbook Doyle and Redding
Our Stolen Future Colborn, Dumanoski, Myers 1997
Your Health Under Siege: Using Nutrition Bland, PhD
The Sacred Balance Suzuki1997
Hungry Planet What the World Eats Menzel & D”Aluisio 2005
Nature's Operating Instructions: The True Biotechnologies
Pottingers Cats by Francis Pottinger
The Lost Language of Plants The Eco Importance of Plants Buhner
The Healing Factor, Vit C against Disease Irwin Stone
Beyond the 120-year Diet 2000 Roy Walford
Diet and Nutrition, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D.
Formula for Life The Definitive Book on Correct Nutrition,, Antioxidants, and Vitamins, Disease Prevention, and Longevity
Dr. Wright's  Healing with Nutrition  Jon Wright, M.D
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
 Okinawan Program Willcox & Wllcox & Suzuki
Genetic Nutritioneering ‘99   Nutria-aerobics  / Jeff Bland, PhD
Living to 100 Lessons in Living to Your Max Potential Perls,  ‘99
Nutrition Against Disease Roger Williams, Ph.D.
Longevity Fulfilling our Bio Potential Pelletier, PhD
The Complete Food Handbook Doyle and Redding
Maximum Lifespan Walford, PhD
Your Health Under Siege: Using Nutrition Bland, PhD
Stealing Time: The New Science of Aging Warshofsky 1999
Health and Light John Ott, Ph.D.
The Anti-Aging Plan 1994 Roy & Lisa Walford
Biomimicry Innovation by Nature Janine Benyus

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods?

How to avoid eating genetically modified foods?

People are amazed at the considerable evidence of health dangers of GM foods and the extent of the cover-up by industry and government. The first question people ask is how they can avoid eating GM foods. A more complete treatment of this topic is found in Seeds of Deception, in chapter 8.

By not eating GM foods, you not only protect yourself from the risks, you also contribute economic pressure on food manufacturers to remove GM ingredients. They won't wait for a large percentage of shoppers to switch to competitors' non-GMO alternatives. If they lose even a small percentage of their market share, food producers will likely source non-GMO ingredients to protect their sales.

Earlier print runs of the book have a mistake that I am happy to correct here. Organic foods are not allowed to contain GM ingredients. Although there are a percentage of non-organic ingredients allowed in foods labeled organic, even these non-organic ingredients are not allowed to contain GMOs. (Just as with the organic ingredients, however, there is no testing required and it is possible that some contamination may have occurred.)

There are three categories of genetically modified (GM) foods: crops, dairy products and meat, and enzymes and additives created from GM bacteria and fungus. Not everyone who conscientiously avoids GM foods chooses to be strict in all categories. I mention this so that the task does not seem so daunting or difficult. It's also a good idea to have a family member or a friend to make the change with you. The site www.truefoodnow.org offers an extensive list of foods by brand and category, indicating if they have GM ingredients.

If you take the step of going non-GMO, I encourage you to let the manufacturers of your “former” favorite foods know that you have stopped eating them until they confirm that they have removed GM ingredients. Only a small percentage of the population making this switch may do the trick to convince major manufacturers to go non-GMO. In fact, if one of the largest food manufacturers makes the switch, it might create a landslide of other companies also removing GMOs. This happened in England, where the all the major food manufacturers committed to remove GM ingredients in the same week, following the announcement by Unilever.


Currently, the major genetically engineered crops are soy, cotton, canola, and corn. Other modified crops include some U.S. zucchini and yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya, and some tobacco. GM potatoes and tomatoes have been taken off the market.

Dairy and Meat

U.S. dairy products may contain milk from cows injected with rbGH. And both meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed.

Enzymes, additives, sweeteners

Genetically modified bacteria and fungi are used in the production of enzymes, vitamins, food additives, flavorings and processing agents in thousands of foods on the grocery shelves as well as health supplements. Aspartame, the diet sweetener, is a product of genetic engineering.

Unlike many nations around the world, in the United States and Canada GM foods are not labeled. Avoiding them, therefore, is both a science and an art. Here are some techniques.

Vegetable Oil

Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed-the four major GM crops. Unless these oils specifically say “Non-GMO” or “Organic,” it is probably genetically modified. Non-GM substitute oils include olive, sunflower, safflower, butter (see dairy below), almond, and just about any other oil available.

Soy and Corn Derivatives

Most packaged foods contain soy and/or corn in some form: as soy flour, soy protein, soy lecithin, textured vegetable protein, corn meal, corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, fructose, citric acid, lactic acid, and of course, soy or corn oil. To avoid them you'll have to check the list of ingredients. For each type of food, there is usually a brand that is non-GM. These are often found in health food stores, but there are also plenty in supermarkets-depending on the food. Mayonnaise, for example, which is traditionally made with soy oil, comes in both non-GM soy and safflower varieties.

According to Cornell University's website Genetically Engineered Organisms, Public Issues Project (GEO-PIE), only 3 to 5 percent of the sweet corn in the U.S. is GM, and it is very unlikely that popcorn or canned sweet corn are engineered.

Foods that may contain GM soy or corn derivatives or GM vegetable oil include: infant formula, salad dressing, bread, cereal, hamburgers and hotdogs, margarine, mayonnaise, crackers, cookies, chocolate, candy, fried food, chips, veggie burgers, meat substitutes, ice cream, frozen yogurt, tofu, tamari, soy sauce, soy cheese, tomato sauce, protein powder, baking powder, alcohol, vanilla, powdered sugar, peanut butter, enriched flour and pasta. Non-food items include cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoo, and bubble bath.

Fruit and Vegetables

More than 50 percent of papaya from Hawaii is genetically modified to resist a virus. Most U.S. papayas come from Brazil, Mexico, or the Caribbean, however, where there are no GM varieties. According to GEO-PIE, your chances of encountering a GM papaya “are highest in Hawaii or the continental west coast.” Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM but they are not popular with farmers.


Honey can be produced from GM crops. For example, some Canadian honey comes from bees collecting nectar from canola. This has shut down exports of Canadian honey to Europe.

Wheat, rice, and salmon on the Horizon

A major food fight is in the works, as biotech companies are trying to introduce GM wheat, rice, and salmon. We will keep you informed of the developments, and let you know how you can take action to help prevent the introduction of these new GM varieties.

Dairy Products

About 22 percent of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH). Dairies generally collect their milk from many sources. In the U.S., if a dairy product is not labeled organic, non-GMO, or made without hormones, it is likely that a portion of the product came from cows that were injected with rbGH. You can always call or email the dairy to find out. Also, non-organic dairy farms typically use GM feed. No studies have been done on whether that affects the milk.

Meat and Eggs

Organic meat and eggs come from animals that have been raised without hormones and with feed that is non-GMO. So-called “natural” meat is usually free of hormones and antibiotics, but the animal may have been raised on GM feed. If you want to avoid this, you'll need to ask the producer.

GM Additives, Cooking Aids, Vitamins, and Enzymes

Genetic engineering is used in the production of many food additives, flavorings, vitamins, and processing aids, such as enzymes. According to the Non-GMO Source, “Such ingredients are used to improve the color, flavor, texture, and aroma of foods and to preserve, stabilize, and add nutrients to processed foods.”

Among vitamins, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is often made from corn, vitamin E is usually made from soy. Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well. (In the first print run of Seeds of Deception, the book mistakenly indicated that folic acid was created from other GM vitamins. This is untrue, and we are not aware of any GM sources of folic acid.) In addition, vitamin D and vitamin K may have “carriers” derived from GM corn sources, such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin. In addition to finding these vitamins in supplements, they are sometimes used to fortify foods. Organic foods, even if fortified with vitamins, are not allowed to use ingredients derived from GMOs.

Flavorings can also come from corn or other GM sources. For example, “hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), a commonly used flavor enhancer derived from corn and soy could be GMO,” says the Non-GMO Source. Vanillin can also be GM.

“Genetically engineered bacteria and fungi are routinely used as sources of enzymes for the manufacture of a wide variety of processed foods,” says GEO-PIE. The live organisms are not added to the foods themselves. Rather, they are grown in vats and produce large quantities of enzymes. The enzymes are removed, purified, and used in food production. Oftentimes, the enzymes get destroyed during the cooking process and are not present in the final product. As such, they are rarely listed on the label.

One common enzyme is called chymosin, which is used in the production of hard cheeses. In the past, it was taken from the stomach linings of calves (called rennet). Since the GM variety was introduced in 1990, more than 70 percent of U.S. cheeses now use this variety. It is not allowed in organic cheese. Xanthan gum is another product that may be derived from a GM process.

According to the Non-GMO Source, “Europe, which is known for sensitivity about GMOs, is more advanced in genetic engineering of enzymes and microorganisms. The newest GM food labeling laws proposed by the European Parliament call for labeling of food additives and colorings, but not processing aids such as enzymes.”

Avoiding GM additives is difficult, since the label will rarely list them. You can find a list of GM enzymes and their uses at www.seedsofdeception.com or in the book's appendix B.


The company Vector has a GMO tobacco being sold under the brand of QuestĂ‚® cigarettes in the U.S. It is engineered to produce low or no nicotine.

I offer some tips for eating non-GMO in restaurants, both in the book and at www.seedsofdeception.com

Thank you for your support and SAFE EATING.

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of “Seeds of Deception” and “Genetic Roulette

The Dirty Dozen Foods to Avoid

In keeping with Earth Day April and sustainability, I am presenting the "Dirty Dozen Foods" to avoid when traveling and can't find organic foods. We don't want to encourage eating local and organic foods just for your own health but also for the health of the planet. Omnivite Nutrition Inc supported "Earth Hour" in turning out all lights. Thank you to all those who participated. It is estimated that such a very small contribution resulted in saving thousands of dollars in electricity just for turning off lights for one hour. What is more is the symbolic nature and gesture where people are coming together as a planet to acknowledge that we must all participate in saving our species. Here is the text message that Omnivite Nutrition sent out to encourage people all over the world to participate in this healing gesture.

"Omnivite Nutrition Inc urges all people and businesses to participate in "Earth Hour" turning off all lights from between 8:30pm and 9:30pm Saturday night in support of saving our species."

“The dirty dozen foods”: what foods should be avoided unless grown organically. The following foods are listed in order of toxicity:

1) Peaches

7) cherries

2) Apples

8) Kale

3) Bell Peppers

9) Lettuce

4) Celery

10) grapes (imported)

5) nectarines

11) Carrots

6) strawberries

12) Pears

The Clean 15 produce with the least amount of pesticides in case you don’t have a choice but you want to be somewhat clean. These foods have relatively lower levels of herbicides and pesticide residues.





Sweet Peas


Sweet Corn








Sweet Potato

Why Should You Care About Pesticides?

The growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood. Scientists now know enough about the long-term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.

What’s the Difference?

EWG research has found that people who eat the 12 most contami­nated fruits and vegetables consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily. The Guide helps consumers make informed choices to lower their dietary pesticide load.

Will Washing and Peeling Help?

Up to 20 different pesticides are used in the traditional production of the Dirty Dozen and contrary to popular belief, simply washing or peeling your fruits and vegetables doesn't guarantee elimination. The pesticides used are often absorbed into the plants, which allows them to bind to the fruits and vegetables, making it impossible to eliminate their presence. Nearly all the studies used to create these lists assume that people rinse or peel fresh produce. Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic when possible.

How Was This Guide Developed?

EWG analysts have developed the Guide based on data from nearly 87,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce conducted between 2000 and 2007 and collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You can find a detailed description of the criteria EWG used to develop these rankings and the complete list of fruits and vegetables tested at our dedicated website, www.foodnews.org.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Sustainability Trip from Marz

Dear People out there,
Well I certainly have not done well keeping this blog. Partly is that I do not understand what this is yet. Anyway for those of you that have gone on this blog this is the first update in a long time. Since Earth Day is approaching and tonight is earth hour, I'm thinking that this is a good time to put something in. Last month was black history month and I did a talk via plane and bicycling (no cars) to the new Naturopathic school in Chicago. Enclosed is the short story of my trip.

The Sustainability Trip from Marz

In accordance with the Omnivite Nutrition Inc mission, I, Dr. Marz, am pursuing a fully car-less travel experience. When planning my most recent trip, my vision was to avoid one of the most toxic and environmentally unsound forces: the automobile.

The car is the most common cause of death to humans in the U.S. and other countries in people under the age of 25. The amount of pollution that cars are responsible for is quite unbelievable, when considering all of energy spent collecting oil from the earth and then burning of all that oil in car engines. Considering the wars that have been fought over this oil, furthermore, is simply mind-boggling. Automobiles further hurt the plant by contributing to global warming.

In The History of Oil (available online), Robert Newman explores the “other” cause of World War I. Mr. Newman, a historian and stand-up comic, presents the argument that the mission of WWI was to stop the Germans from gaining access to oil in the Middle East. I will later recommend a number of books and films pertinent to this issue, but one that begs to be mentioned right away is Who Killed the Electric Car? This film is a very interesting and head-scratching movie that explores the 1996 introduction of an amazing, fully electric car, and then exposes the political reasons that resulted in the vehicle being literally and figuratively scrapped.

My most recent trip started in Portland, Oregon on Thursday, February 11, 2010. I bicycled to the airport with my luggage, a task made possible because a folding bike by the name of Bike Friday. All of the gear that I needed was totally self-contained, including books, computer, movies, and educational materials, along with enough clothes to survive the cold and wind of Chicago in mid-February. After a 45-minute bike ride to Portland International Airport, I took my clothes out of the trailer that I was hauling in my Bike Friday, folded up my bike, and put it into the suitcase with the rest of my accoutrements. I checked my bike in the suitcase and took the rest of my things to the gate.

I chose to fly to Chicago non-stop, because air-travel is another major contributor to pollution and global warming: it has been calculated that a multi-stop flight uses almost 70% more energy than a non-stop flight of the same distance. A cross-country flight round-trip, furthermore, uses more energy than the average car uses in 6 months!

After arriving in Chicago O’Hare Airport, I unpacked my bicycle and placed all of my belongings back into the suitcase. A student met me at the airport on his bike. Together we rode back to the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois, where I would be giving an eight-hour seminar to about fifty medical students that weekend.

Biking from the airport in Chicago, I realized that the infrastructure of our country is not laid out to accommodate traveling large distances by bike. This is certainly done from a very conscious intention. For example, the passenger railway system laid out across the U.S. was systematically destroyed to make way for automobiles. The oil industry purchased much of the old railway tracks and put them out of commission to make way for the automobile. (There is no more apparent example of this than in the city of Los Angeles. Without a car you are dead in the water trying to get around.) Thus it was with biking from the airport: we were not expected to attempt the ride.

Our first trial of getting out of the Chicago O’Hare Airport was met with a police car patrolling the area, radioing to a tow truck that stopped us while we were biking out of the airport because, “It’s just not done.”

I have been doing triathlons and bike racing for almost 30 years and normally on a good day I can bike 25 miles in an hour, but it took us about three and half hours to travel about 25 miles in the freezing cold. We had taken our lives into our hands and we succeeded, but not without a price (mostly to our hands and feet). Arriving at my hotel near the university, I was met by the hotel staff, who were overcome with disbelief that I had actually biked from the airport.

The next day I biked over to the university to give a one-hour lecture. Again, I was greeted with awful traveling conditions, even though it was only about a mile to the school. None of the side roads went through, and the main roads had absolutely no shoulders. If there was anything at all it was covered in snow.

Saturday’s lecture went well. I presented my case on sustainability, pointing out that the manner in which we conduct our lives will cause the mass extinction of more than half of ALL of the species on earth within the next 75 years. This to me is just mind-boggling and heart breaking. (I refer you to the documentaries The 11th Hour and The Call for Life: Facing Mass Extinction.)

Since February is also Black History Month in the U.S., I gave a presentation on Percy Julian, one of America’s greatest scientists. Percy Julian is considered to be the Jackie Robinson of the science world, as he overcame a tremendous amount of adversity and contributed to some of the greatest discoveries in hormone chemistry in our history. (Unfortunately, his discoveries also paved the way for pharmaceutical corporations who now dominate the American economic system.) This lecture will soon be partially available on my website, OmniviteNutriton.com. (I also recommend the film Percy Julian: The Forgotten Genius.)

To conclude my trip with a bang, I set foot on a train to go visit Percy Julian’s house. I was able to go right up to the house and get video taped by someone who stopped his car to tell me about his company that is involved in sustainability. He informed me that the house was actually on the market to be sold. It certainly looked vacant from what I could see. As I was about to ring the doorbell, a neighbor from across the street came by and chastised me for going up to the house and terrorizing Percy Julian’s daughter, threatening to call the police if I didn’t leave.

It would have been great if I could have interviewed Percy Julian’s daughter but as it turned out again, My trip back to the airport took a lot longer than expected. I thought I had given myself more than enough time, but again the biking conditions were less than optimal, this time for other reasons. I took mainly side streets, biking through Chicago neighborhoods. I passed some interesting factories, such as Mars Inc, the famous candy manufacturer (whose gigantic plant seemed more like a military installation than a friendly candy factory). I thought I was pretty early, arriving at the airport about two hours before my flight, but there were no signs directing me to the airport terminal. I bicycled almost around the entire circumference of the airport trying to get in! According to my GPS and my maps, there appeared to be access to the airport from the north. My unexpected foray into an inability to find any signs directing me into the terminals was very frustrating.

After biking around the circumference of the airport for over and hour in the freezing cold and wind, I ran into a police car at a railroad crossing. When I asked him how to get into the airport, he literally could not tell me. He told me that I would somehow have to take the train into the airport terminals. How could it be possible that you cannot bike to the terminals? Finally, after asking several people, someone told me that I could go down this road that was lined with barbed wire fences and had absolutely no signs for several miles. How could there be an airport with no signs to the airport terminals?

I finally arrived at my terminal, about 30 minutes prior to the departure of my flight. I was told that it was too late for me to take my flight, but fortunately I was able to secure a seat on a next flight out. I now will get back to Portland after midnight, when the light rail will be closed for the night. Oh well, I might as well finish the trip on my bike!

Dr. Russell B. Marz