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The Whole Truth About Whole Foods: The Not-So-Organic Grocery Store

Although Whole Foods is marketed as a grocery store that sells the “finest natural and organic foods available,” that’s not the whole truth regarding the products they sell and the food they prepare in-house.

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Right off the bat, I’d like to make it clear that this is not a hate piece against Whole Foods. I’ll be the first to admit that the store offers a wide range of organic and plant-based foods, making it easier for the health conscious among us to find quality organic food and beverage products.

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However, that’s not all Whole Foods sells, and I’d like to bring further awareness to that. Although Whole Foods has an incredibly large supply of high-quality, plant-based, organic foods, the retailer also offers a ton of GMO, pesticide-ridden, and unhealthy products.

Although Whole Foods is marketed as a grocery store that sells the “finest natural and organic foods available,” that’s not the whole truth regarding the products they sell and the food they prepare in-house.

The Whole Truth About Whole Foods’ Prepared Foods  

To start, let’s take a look at the foods Whole Foods actually cooks in-house. If you’ve never been to Whole Foods, they have an awesome prepared food bar. Not only is much of the food delicious, organic, and vegan, but there’s a wide range of items to choose from.

Envision a long buffet bar filled with cold foods, another filled with hot foods, and then tons of other prepared foods surrounding the store based on different dietary preferences. Whether you’re looking for baked goods, desserts, salads, cold foods, hot foods, pizza — you name it, Whole Foods probably makes it. 

 And although some of these foods are truly high-quality and healthy for the body, some are not quite as healthy as you’d expect to be eating at a place called “Whole Foods.” For example, in recent years, Whole Foods has been facing a lot of criticism for the oils they use in their prepared foods.

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A lot of the food Whole Foods makes contains canola oil, a low-grade oil that isn’t very good for the body. It is estimated that 95% of canola oil in Canada is genetically modified. The comparison between the number of GMO and non-GMO crops in the U.S is similar, as the U.S. is the leading producer of GM foods globally. Since so many of the crops grown in North America are GM, cross-contamination can easily occur between GMO and non-GMO crops.

Despite the “Organic” sticker on canola oil, there is still a risk of GMO contamination in some crops, particularly ones that are predominantly GMO. GMO contamination can happen in several ways:

  1. cross-pollination between GMO and non-GMO crops
  2. trace amounts of GMO ingredients found in animal feed
  3. seeds traveling by wind
  4. migratory birds taking root in the soil of an organic farm
  5. ingredient suppliers that co-mingle various sources.

That being said, of course organic is always the better option than conventional, but it’s important to note that canola oil is still unhealthy if it’s organic and can still be contaminated with GMOs. Whole Foods maintains that they use a non-GMO canola oil in their foods, although they do sell GMO canola oil in their stores. Keep in mind that pesticides are still used on non-GMO products, because that is not the equivalent to organic.

In addition, when it comes to low-grade oils like canola oil, they still pose health risks even when they’re organic or “expeller-pressed.” They perform similarly in the body as things like margarine and animal fat do, because they still coagulate in your blood (which is associated with blood clotting).

This isn’t the only concern regarding their prepared foods, either. Popular blogger Food Babe reported: “On several occasions, I’ve found less than stellar ingredients hidden in their prepared foods – like GMOs, hidden MSG and the over use of cheap oils like corn, soy, and canola, which I will get to in a minute.”

Again, although lots of the food prepared by Whole Foods is genuinely organic and healthy, it’s clear that not all of the food is healthy. This serves as an excellent reminder for us all to always read ingredients, regardless of where we’re buying our food!

Other Issues With Whole Foods 

Whole Foods is currently under public scrutiny after launching their produce rating program. Tons of organic farmers have vocalized their concerns surrounding this new rating system, as they claim it devalues the organic label and threatens their business models.

Whole Foods’ rating system, Responsibly Grown, was designed to provide customers with more information about how their food is grown. However, suppliers must pay for this rating, resulting in a steep cost for organic farmers.

Organic produce farms are often smaller farms that aren’t owned and operated by rich and powerful corporations like Monsanto. The organic certification is costly enough already, and many farmers can barely afford that, let alone an additional rating system.

The new rating system takes into account much more.

Whole Foods is asking its suppliers to pay a fee to get into the program, then answer a long questionnaire. There are questions about how they protect the soil and wildlife on their farms, whether they limit their use of pesticides, how they conserve energy and irrigation water, and how they treat their workers.

The rating system essentially grades farmers on their produce in regards to pesticide usage, conservation efforts, water usage, and more. Based on these findings, they’re graded as Unrated, Good, Better, or Best. This in theory could create more transparency between farmers and consumers, which would be awesome.

However, farmers have been quick to point out holes in the program. NPR reported:

But here’s what is making organic farmers angry. At a Whole Foods store in Washington, D.C., I found nonorganic onions and tomatoes, presumably grown with standard fertilizers and pesticides, that were labeled “Best.” A few feet away, I found organic onions and tomatoes that were graded merely “Good” or just “Unrated.”

This isn’t the only large-scale issue with Whole Foods. Just last year, Whole Foods was under public scrutiny for supporting GMOs and selling so many GMO foods in their stores. You can read more about that in the following CE article:

Whole Foods Caves To Monsanto To Kill GMO-Labelling Bill?

GMOs aren’t the only cause for concern within the ingredients lists of some of the foods sold at Whole Foods. CE covered another story on this, which you can read below:

Whole Foods Boycott? They Knowingly Sell Dietary Products Significantly Contaminated With Toxic Heavy Metals

Final Thoughts

To be clear, Whole Foods still sells some awesome products. They have a wide range of organic produce and serve as a massive supplier of plant-based and non-GMO foods that are rarely found in conventional grocery stores. For example, I visited the Whole Foods in Hawaii recently and was thrilled to purchase lots of organic plant-based foods, including some products I hadn’t been able to find in Canada, such as the vegan Beyond Meat burgers.

It’s clearly convenient for those of us interested in health to go to a big box store and be able to purchase the products we love that are not only delicious, but healthy for the body as well. However, it’s equally clear that these aren’t the only products Whole Foods sells, as they do sell some non-organic produce and GMO foods.

I’d encourage you to check out some local farmer’s markets instead of going to Whole Foods once in a while. Although local doesn’t mean organic, many markets typically offer organic options, and it’s really nice to be able to support local farms. Plus, the prices are typically a lot more affordable at organic markets than at Whole Foods, where they inflate many of the prices.

At the end of the day, this is a really important lesson for all of us to remember to read the ingredients in everything we buy, whether that be food, drinks, body products, cleaning supplies, or whatever else. Just because something is marketed as being “all-natural” or is sold at a health food store, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.

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“I Tried Every Diet & Nothing Worked” How Mucus Free Living Saved This Woman’s Life

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    After a year on a high-fat/high-protein lifestyle, Livia Macdonald nearly died. After adopting a 'mucus-free' lifestyle, a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, she cured her depression, anxiety, and health issues.

  • Reflect On:

    True healing takes time and commitment, and a willingness to face the emotions and trauma buried beneath our eating habits.

In 2011, Livia Macdonald was looking for answers to her health. At nearly 300 lbs and stuck in the despairs of chronic illness, she was ready to make a big change. The first step—divorcing allopathic medicine all together. Like many others stepping away from conventional medicine, Livia found herself enveloped by the siren of holistic healthcare, adopting the protocols laid out by natural-health celebrity and functional medicine doctor, Mark Hyman.

Following Hyman’s vitality guidelines, Livia cut out grains, starches, and processed sugars, while incorporating more vegetables, ‘healthy’ fats and animal products into her diet.

I was told that high protein and high fats is the way to go because our brain needs fat. I even made my own ghee and ate loads of coconut oil and eggs every day,” she told Collective Evolution.

At first the high-fat diet did wonders for Livia’s health. She felt more energized, had more mental clarity, and even began to drop weight. “I lost almost 80 lbs the first year on the [high-fat] diet,” she said.

But after twelve months of a high-fat lifestyle, Livia said her body began to shut down.

“I started to feel awful. Like everything turned on me. I got severe depression, anxiety, shaking, internal tremors, my organs started to really hurt, I had them checked and my pancreas had so many fat deposits all over it and my cholesterol was through the roof after being optimal. My entire body started to shut down and I became bed ridden for an entire year.”

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During this difficult time Livia came across the work of Dr. Robert Morse, a regenerative detoxification specialist well known in the natural health world. One of the foundations of Dr. Morse’s teachings is that man is a part of the primate family, and therefore we are primarily a frugivore species whose bodies thrive off of fruit, some vegetables and herbs. Livia says that a lightbulb went off in her head immediately upon reading Dr. Morse’s work.

My intuition was screaming that this was the missing piece of my puzzle, and that he speaks the absolute truth.”

Arnold Ehret wrote “The Mucusless Diet Healing System,” a resource for the chronically ill. Ehret’s protocols implement systematic fasting, as well as a diet of raw fruit and vegetables.

Next, Livia discovered the work of a 19th century natural health educator named Arnold Ehret. Ehret’s rise to fame came through his in depth knowledge about the body, specifically in healing chronic disease through systematic fasting and a diet similar to what Morse prescribes—raw fruit and vegetables.

His magnum opus, The Mucusless Diet Healing System, detailed his many years working in a clinic for the chronically ill while implementing his detox protocols to cure their diseases. Ehret’s work garnered a cult-following throughout the early 20th century and inspired the works of well-known detox specialists like Robert Morse himself, Paul Braggs, and Alfredo Bowman.

Adopting A Mucus-Free Lifestyle

But Livia said her biggest aha moment did not come until she discovered the work of South-African detox specialist  Alexandra Cousins. Inspired by the teachings of Robert Morse and Arnold Ehret, Cousins takes their healing principles and merges them with the shamanic and emotional work which she feels is the missing piece for those seeking full-bodied healing.

What I am witnessing is that trauma, PTSD, OCD, addictions are running everyone’s lives,” she writes in her Facebook group, Living Mucus Free. “The degree will vary but we all have it unless we have specifically addressed it. It is safe to say that all my clients, especially the chronically ill suffer from some form of unresolved trauma. If you have adrenal, hormonal, thyroid, or CFS issues, you are dealing with trauma residue. Living mucus free tends to bring up all our unresolved trauma. As we no longer consume foods that numb us or stimulate us, trauma rises to the surface so that it can be felt and dealt with.”

Having endured years of ill-health herself and having tried almost every diet trend out there, Cousins eventually found solace through a lifestyle termed Living Mucus Free (LMF). Mucus, for those wondering, is the residue which builds in the body from eating non-species-specific food, i.e., animal products, grains, or most cooked food. This mucus putrefies and plaques to the intestinal walls, eventually causing acids to build up in the body and damage our organs and glands.

LMF does away with mucus-causing foods while utilizing fruit, vegetables, herbs, systematic fasting, lymphatic movement, and various trauma-release therapies. Today, Cousins teaches what she’s learned at detox retreats around the globe and inspires thousands through her fierce social media presence.

Alexandra Cousins; founder ‘Living Mucus Free’. Cousins teaches people how to heal their chronic illness through the principles of cellular detoxification.

Sweet potato pizza via Living Mucus Free.

Photo by Livia Macdonald.

Livia says she has dedicated herself to the Living Mucus Free principles with great results, incorporating daily intermittent fasting, herbal tinctures, movement and breathing practices targeted at draining the lymphatic system, as well as raw food diet.

“I have been vegan one year and living mucus free for 10 months now. My anxiety and depression cleared up within two months, never to return. I have so much more clarity and mental focus now and that is getting better with time, not worse. I am slowly healing my endocrine system and gaining more energy back, I am no longer bed ridden since the first couple of months on this lifestyle.. all my spiritual and emotional stuff has surfaced to be healed and it’s truly a fascinating and incredible journey to learn the truth and realize just how wrongly we have been conditioned in such a deep way.”

The emphasis in Living Mucus Free is elimination—getting out of the body’s way and allowing it to do its job of eliminating acids, toxins, undigested food material and mucoid plaque. This is primarily achieved through daily dry fasting and eating watery, astringent fruit, which pulls out toxins as it transits the digestive tract.

Another principle to the Living Mucus Free lifestyle is eating little to no fat while detoxing, a principle that goes against many of the high-fat diet trends of today. But as Alexandra Cousins explains, in the case of those who are cellularly degenerate, fats only serve to cover up their issues. Fats are anti-inflammatory, buffering the acidity in the body but never pulling the acids out. A temporary bandaid for true healing.

Livia feels this is what happened in her case, and it is why she thinks so many initially feel great adopting a high-fat diet.

“I feel the high fat diet works for some because it suppresses and clogs their lymphatic system so naturally they will feel instant relief. But now that I understand how the body actually works, of course you are going to show improvement at the beginning if you remove junk food, sugars/grains, dairy etc.”

Cousins also speaks much to the notion that fats, salts, animal products, and processed foods are stimulating to our nervous system which cover up our emotional wounds, so when we begin to remove these foods and focus on detoxifying the body, we are suddenly faced with old emotions or traumatic memories, and this, Alex says, is mostly what Living Mucus Free is about.

“When we detox on a cellular level, we are consistently clearing old information, old cellular memory in the form of emotion which is held in physical waste stored in the body, replacing it with new cellular information,” Alex Cousins, Living Mucus Free.

For those looking for a quick fix, Living Mucus Free probably isn’t the right fit. Those living the Mucus Free lifestyle don’t make false promises that you will be healed after a 30 day detox. The journey is slow and steady, one with bumps along the way known as healing crises. During a healing crisis any number of uncomfortable symptoms can arise as the body expels old debris and toxins. But as Livia says, walking through the discomfort is the only way towards true healing.

I believe that our society has everything so backwards,” says Livia. “We are taught to chase feeling good, and run away from feeling bad, and Living Mucus Free isn’t going to feel good in the beginning as it brings up our weaknesses for healing.”

The reward, as promised by Cousins, Morse, Ehret, and thousands of others who have healed through regenerative detox principles, is beyond anything we can imagine:

Unimaginable health and vitality, weight loss and reversed ageing, improved energy levels, mental clarity and confidence, liberation from anxiety, mood swings and self-doubt, resolution of stored trauma and a deeper connection to source, vastly improved sex life and orgasms.”

Is Living Mucus Free really the key to such incredible feats? The answer, it seems, is to be discovered only by those willing to walk through the fire to find out.

For more information about Living Mucus Free, visit Alexandra Cousins’ website, Living Mucus Free.

For amazing mucus free recipes and to continue following Livia’s journey, check her out Instagram or Facebook, or her website, LiveAlittleRaw.

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Two Doctors Explain Autophagy, How To Induce It (Fasting) & What It Does To The Human Body (Video)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Guido Kroemer and Rhonda Patrick sit down and discuss autophagy, how to induce it and it's health benefits.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we never hear about fasting interventions as an 'official' treatment for certain from our federal health regulatory agencies when there is so much scientific proof?

Fasting and caloric restriction, if done correctly in a healthy and appropriate manner, combined with a healthy diet can have tremendous benefits for the human body. Interventions like fasting are gaining tremendous amounts of popularity, and that is in large part due to the fact that this information is being spread across the world via alternative media outlets and independent websites, youtube channels, etc. It’s not really a health topic that we’re hearing from mainstream media sources or our federal health regulatory agencies. Why? Because you can’t make money off of fasting. Perhaps when drugs are developed that mimic the effects of fasting, that’s when its popularity will skyrocket; but unfortunately, modern day health authorities don’t really seem to be as concerned with our health and wellbeing as they are about profiting and making money, and nobody is going to make any money if people starting eating less. That being said, the information revolution cannot be stopped, and fasting is now on the minds of many, and for good reason.

On October 3rd, 2016, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a term that translates to “self-eat.” In short, autophagy is the body’s self-cleaning system, a mechanism in which cells get rid of all the broken down, old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes). It is a regulated, orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components.

The process of autophagy is like replacing parts in a car—sometimes we need a new engine or battery for the car to function better. The same thing happens within each of our cells. During autophagy, old cellular debris is sent to specialized compartments within the cell called “lysosomes.” Lysosomes contain enzymes that degrade the old debris, breaking it down into smaller components to be reused again by the cell.

Scientists have found that fasting for 12 to 24+ hours triggers autophagy, which is thought to be one of the reasons that fasting is associated with longevity. There is a large body of research that connects fasting to improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammationweight loss, and improved brain function, and Oshumi’s findings provide greater insight into this research.

“Sporadic short-term fasting, driven by religious and spiritual beliefs, is common to many cultures and has been practiced for millennia, but scientific analyses of the consequences of caloric restriction are more recent… short-term food restriction induces a dramatic upregulation of autophagy in cortical and Purkinje neurons. As noted above, disruption of autophagy can cause neurodegenerative disease, and the converse also may hold true: upregulation of autophagy may have a neuroprotective effect.

Food restriction is a simple, reliable, inexpensive and harmless alternative to drug ingestion and, therefore, we propose that short-term food restriction may represent an attractive alternative to the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases in which candidate drugs are currently being sought.”

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If you look at the plethora of studies that’ve been published regarding caloric restriction and fasting, the benefits are overwhelming. These benefits are seen across the board, not just in humans, but in animals as well. Some of these benefits are talked about below in a fascinating interview and discussion between Dr. Rhonda Patrick  and Dr. Guido Kroemer. Dr. Patrick, as her website states, “is dedicated to the pursuit of longevity and optimal health and shares the latest research on nutrition, aging, and disease prevention with her audience. She has a gift for translating scientific topics into understandable takeaways for all levels of education and interest.” She has a lot of great content on her Youtube channel with some very interesting people who are leaders in their respective field.

Dr. Guido Kroemer is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris Descartes, Director of the research team “Apoptosis, Cancer and Immunity” of the French Medical Research Council (INSERM), Director of the Metabolomics and Cell Biology platforms of the Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center, Deputy Director of the Cordeliers Research Center, and Hospital Practitioner at the Hôpital Européen George Pompidou, Paris, France. He is also a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to recognize the potential of dietary interventions for certain ailments. It’s also to recognize the importance of seeking out knowledge and wisdom, and not just relying on your doctor for advice or prescription medications.

Related CE Articles on Fasting

How To Activate Autophagy: Your Body’s Self-Cleansing System

Autophagy, Fasting & Exercise: Scientist Reveal Multiple Ways You Can Slow Down The Process of Aging

The Complete Guide To Fasting & Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: A Special Interview With Dr. Jason Fung

Neuroscientist Shows What Fasting Does To Your Brain & Why Big Pharma Won’t Study It

Scientists Explain How Fasting Fights Cancer, Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Changes Your Brain (In A Good Way)

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Ladies, Ditch the Bra

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There is evidence of a relationship between bras and breast cancer may rethink the societal convention of wearing bras.

  • Reflect On:

    Have you looked into the research about how bras can be contributing to poor health?

I realize it may feel some combination of uncomfortable, unprofessional, or unnecessarily provocative. Societal convention has most of us trussing up before going out.

If you are reading this at home, do me a favor and unhook. Then keep reading.

There’s Some Evidence of a Relationship Between Bras and Breast Cancer Yes, seriously.

Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras

Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer authored a book called Dressed To Kill. They interviewed 4,000+ women in five major U.S. cities over two years. Half the women had been diagnosed with breast cancer. They found:

  • 75% of women who slept in their bras developed breast cancer
  • 1 in 7 who wore their bras 12+ hours per day developed breast cancer
  • 1 in 168 who did not wear a bra developed breast cancer
  • Within one month of ditching their bras, women with cysts, breast pain, or tenderness found their symptoms disappeared.

Breast Size, Handedness, and Breast Cancer Risk

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A 1991 article in the European Journal of Cancer found that premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users. The data also suggest that bra cup size (and breast size) may be a risk factor for breast cancer.

Cancer Is Not a Disease

Andreas Moritz revealed that Japanese, Fijians, and women from other cultures were found to have a significantly higher likelihood of developing breast cancer when they began wearing bras. His book explains how cancer is an adaptive healing mechanism, arguing that people would die more quickly if the body did not form cancer cells.

Bras and Girdles Can Reduce Melatonin Levels

Japanese researchers found they can lower melatonin by 60%. Melatonin has anti-cancer properties. And Spanish researchers wrote about the use of melanonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment.

There’s No Downside to Being Cautious.

Am I suggesting this scanty fact base offers definitive proof of a causal relationship? No.

Am I suggesting you should be comforted that the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the New York Times all believe it to be bunk? No.

That’s a longer discussion, but it’s sufficient to say that politics and economics create active bedfellows and the absence of a commercial imperative might have something to do with the dearth of research.

Many of us don’t need to wait in order to do something that intuitively seems to make a lot of sense. Frankly, in view of the alarming rate of breast cancer prevalence in this country (12.3% of women) and the growing trend to remove body parts in an attempt to improve our odds, it seems we might be receptive to a bit of behavior modification.

Things to Consider Doing:

Go braless as much as possible.

It actually gets easier. When these muscles and ligaments are forced to bear the weight of our breasts, muscle tone returns. The more you wear a bra, the more you need to wear a bra. Chest muscles and breast ligaments atrophy, which then makes it feel uncomfortable to go braless.

15 year French study conducted by Besancon CHU professor Jean-Denis Rouillon found that “medically, phyisiologically, and anatomically, breasts gained no benefit from their weight being supported in a bra.” There was some evidence that eliminating bra use helped ease back pain. He described bra wearing as a “false need.”

Remove your bra when you get home. Don’t wear a bra to bed. And if you’re self-conscious when going out, try wearing camisoles, thicker material, or nipple pads. It does make sense to wear a support bra while exercising.

Wear Loose Bras in Softer Materials and Avoid Underwires

Tight bras and underwires restrict lymphatic drainage, promoting congestion and stagnation of toxic waste materials that are supposed to be flowing out for excretion. Further, the closing of lymphatic vessels reduces the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

Michael Schachter, MD, FACAM wrote that bras and tight clothing can impede lymph flow and contribute to the development of breast cancer.

John MacDougall, MD wrote in The Lancet that repeated inflammation from constricting bras are implicated in painful breast cysts and lumps, scar tissue develops, and milk ducts become plugged, all of which is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.

The metal in underwire bras can create an “Antenna Effect” according to the father of Applied Kinesiology, George Goodheart, DC. Repeated pressing of metal over an acupuncture point can cause longer-term stimulation of neuro-lymphatic reflex points corresponding to the liver, gallbladder, and stomach. “It will likely make her sick; slowly and quietly,” said John Andre, ND, DC.

Here’s a list of no-underwire bras recommended by Donna Eden, Vicki Mathews, and Titanya Dahlin. Donna adds that plastic underwires have the same negative impact as metal underwires.

Slide the Wires Out!

There’s no need to toss your expensive underwire bras. If you cut a small opening at one end of the wire, you can manually remove it from each cup. You’ll probably find that your bra supports you nearly as well without them. Oh, and don’t be fooled. They make look like plastic, but they’re actually plastic-coated metal. If you find you still need the support, you can buy and insert plastic wires. Andre explains how.

For additional research on the harms of bras read our article Breast Cancer Cover-Up Continues or get the book “Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras.”


Originally published: 2014-07-14 13:06:54 -0500

Article updated: 2019-03-10


Louise Kuo Habakus is the co-author of Vaccine Epidemic, the Executive Director and co-founder of the Center for Personal Rights, the founder of Fearless Parent, and the Executive Director of Health Freedom Action.


For more info from Greenmedinfo, you can sign up for their Newsletter HERE


Greenmedinfo Article Link

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