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Protecting Yourself Naturally from Mad Cow Disease

By Alex Jack

Rogue proteins, known as prions, are suspected as the underlying cause of VCJV (variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease), the human equivalent of Mad Cow Disease. The disorder affects the brain and central nervous system, and all cases to date have been fatal. Believed to be spread by prions, infectious proteins in the body that are impervious to boiling, pasteurization, or radiation, CJD affects primarily younger persons, age 15-40, including vegetarians who have not eaten beef but who have eaten dairy food.

To prevent Mad Cow Disease:

  1. Avoid all animal foods, especially beef, dairy food, organ meats, gelatin, and other cow products.
  2. Avoid all factory-raised chicken, pork, lamb, and fish, especially salmon, trout, and other varieties that may be fed rendered food made of cattle parts.
  3. Avoid hunting or eating deer, elk, squirrel, mink, and other wild game that may be infested from infected cow parts, leftover fast food, or road kill.
  4. Minimize sugar, spices, oil, alcohol, drugs, etc.
  5. To strengthen DNA (lacking in prions), eat organically grown brown rice, millet, and other cooked whole grains as main food, day-to-day, meal-to-meal. Other seeds will also help restore DNA, especially sesame and pumpkin seeds.

It is especially important to avoid dairy. Apart from its affects on health, the dairy and beef industries are so intertwined as to be indistinguishable. In the U.S. virtually all dairy cows, including those raised organically, end up as hamburger. One of the best books on the cattle industry is Peter Lovenheim, Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calf (Harmony Books, 2002).

As a journalist, Lovenheim, a nonvegetarian, bought two baby calves from a dairy farm in upstate New York to track them from birth to slaughter. Like Dr. Faustus in Marlowe play, the question quickly arises whether he should see his epistemological project to completion? Lovenheim identifies with his priestly ancestors who slaughtered cows in the Jewish temple.

The spiritual dimension of raising food reminds Lovenheim of growing wheat in his backyard one summer to show his kids where food came from. "As I bent to lift the first sheaf, I was struck with a powerful sense of having done this before, even though I had not," he recalls. "Then I realized the motion of bending and lifting the sheaf is the same motion as lifting a Torah scroll. A Torah scroll is similar in size and shape to a sheaf of wheat and, like a sheaf, is bound around the middle with a sash or belt."

In the end, he listens to his better angels, takes the cows to the vegan Farm Sanctuary, and holds up a mirror to the nation's soul.   

Alex Jack grew up in the Chicago and New York metropolitan areas and graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in philosophy. He has served as a reporter in Vietnam in the 1960s, editor-in-chief of the East West Journal in the 1970s, general manager of the Kushi Foundation in the 1980s, and director of the One Peaceful World Society in the 1990s. He is on the faculty of the Kushi Institute and has taught around the world, including the Zen Temple in Beijing, the Cardiology Center in Leningrad, and conferences in Europe and Japan.

He is the author or co-author of thirty-five books, including The Cancer Prevention Diet (with Michio Kushi), Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking (with Aveline Kushi), Let Food Be Thy Medicine, and The Mozart Effect. (with Don Campbell). Alex lives with his family in Becket, Massachusetts. Alex is president of Planetary Health/Amberwaves.