The Scoop on Probiotics and Why We Love Probiotic MELT®!

March 28th, 2016


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How do I choose a probiotic?

Not all probiotics strains are the same. Different strains offer different benefits and some probiotic strains survive manufacturing processes, shelf life and digestive transit better than others. When choosing a probiotic consider the following:

Is it safe and has the FDA reviewed the safety data?

Does it survive the extremes of manufacturing?

Does it survive the shelf life of the product?

Will it survive digestive transit?

Is there published research to support it?

Once you’ve gathered all of this information, then you’re ready to decide which probiotic is right for you.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits. Although bacteria and other microorganisms are often thought of as harmful “germs,” many microorganisms are critical partners in helping our bodies function properly. For example, beneficial bacteria normally present in our intestines assist in digesting food, destroying disease-causing microorganisms, and producing vitamins. Large numbers of microorganisms live on and in our bodies. In fact, microorganisms in the human body outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same as or similar to microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies. Probiotics may include a variety of microorganisms with the most common including two broad groups of bacteria, known as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Other bacteria may also be used as probiotics such as Bacillus bacterial spores (e.g., Bacillus coagulans), and yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii.

Bacillus bacterial spores are of particular interest because they are uniquely designed to survive the harsh gastric environment and arrive at the intestinal system alive, ensuring full potency.

The Basics of Probiotic Survivability: If Its Not Live, Its Not a Probiotic

Probiotics are the fastest growing category in the supplement industry.  Recent research performed by the National Institute of Health has defined probiotics by three strict criteria:

  1. The organism must be a normally occurring organism in the digestive tract.
  2. In order to consistently trigger a healthy boost in immune function, the organism must be supplemented in concentrations higher than what normally occurs in the digestive tract.
  3. The organism must be able to survive in the digestive tract as well as in the environment.

Interestingly, there are almost no probiotic products in the marketplace that meet all three of these criteria, particularly the third criteria, which states the microorganism has to be live or it does not fit the definition of a probiotic. Studies by the Food Safety Authority of the United Kingdom and at least three different publications have confirmed that over 90% of strains used in probiotic products today do not survive the gastric system. Thus, they do not fit the profile of live microorganisms or meet the definition of a probiotic.

True probiotics must naturally survive the gastric barrier.

Physicians Exclusive commissioned Silliker Food Science Center, a leading food science laboratory, to test the survivability of probiotic strains of four products, including two probiotic dietary supplements and two yogurt products. The first probiotic supplement was a formulation composed of five Bacillus bacterial spores, including Bacillus coagulans. The second probiotic supplement formulation was composed of the most common Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species used in the probiotic market today. The third and fourth products in the study included a leading brand name yogurt and a leading brand name Greek Yogurt. The study looked at the survival of these probiotic sources in United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standard gastric solution, which is the most widely accepted simulated gastric model used in industry today.

The results of this study were consistent with the findings of several other publications on the survivability of common probiotic strains.  The blend of Bacillus bacterial spores was the only product to show 100% survival through the gastric barrier, while over 99.99% of the probiotic bacteria in all of the other tested products were killed by the stomach environment. If the probiotic contained in a food product or supplement does not survive and arrive at the site of colonization alive (i.e., your intestinal tract), it is not a probiotic.

What is GanedenBC30? Why is GanedenBC30 in Probiotic MELT®?

GanedenBC30 is a form of Bacillus coagulans, which is a spore-forming probiotic. Similar to a seed, GanedenBC30’s genetic material is protected by a hard shell. This spore safeguards the probiotic from the heat, cold and pressure of manufacturing processes, allows for stability during the product shelf life and protects the cells from the acid and bile they are exposed to during transit through the digestive system. Once it is safely inside the small intestine, the probiotic germinates and colonizes to provide benefits. GanedenBC30 survives conditions other probiotics cannot. Most probiotics are extremely fragile and thus few cells survive digestion to populate the intestines.  GanedenBC30 is different in that it was designed by nature to survive and thrive in conditions other probiotics cannot. While most probiotics are delivered in capsule or tablet form, or in cultured dairy products, like yogurt, GanedenBC30 can be consumed in a variety of foods and beverages like Probiotic MELT®.

GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that the FDA has reviewed for safety. Ganeden has conducted extensive safety studies on GanedenBC30, which have been published (Endres 2009, Endres2011) and culminated with Ganeden receiving FDA GRAS. These tests prove that even when GanedenBC30 is consumed at much higher levels than what is found in food and beverage products, that there are no safety concerns. FDA GRAS is strain specific, and GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that has been granted FDA GRAS status.

GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that has been the subject of over 20 studies published in peer reviewed journals. In multiple studies, GanedenBC30 supports digestive health when consumed daily. A large majority of the body’s immune system is located within the intestines. When GanedenBC30 is consumed daily, it creates a healthier intestinal environment, supporting immune function. GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that has been endorsed by Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Michael Roizen, Dr. Andrew Weil.

References for Ganeden BC30


Safety Assessment Of A Proprietary Preparation Of A Novel Probiotic, Bacillus Coagulans, As A Food Ingredient
Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2009; 47: 1231–1238
J.R. Endresa, A. Clewella, K.A. Jadea, T. Farberb, J. Hauswirthc A.G. Schaussa

One-Year Chronic Oral Toxicity With Combined Reproduction Toxicity Study Of A Novel Probiotic, Bacillus Coagulans, As A Food Ingredient
Food and Chemical Toxicology Article in Press
J.R. Endresa, I. Qureshia, T. Farberb, J. Hauswirthc, G. Hirkad, I. Pasicsd, A.G. Schaussa


A Prospective, Randomized, Double–blind, Placebo–controlled Parallel–group Dual Site Trial To Evaluate The Effects Of A Bacillus Coagulans–based Product On Functional Intestinal Gas Symptoms
BMC Gastroenterology, 2009, 9:85
Douglas S Kalman, Howard I Schwartz, Patricia Alvarez, Samantha Feldman, John C Pezzullo and Diane R Krieger

Survival And Metabolic Activity Of The GanedenBC30 Strain Of Bacillus Coagulans In A Dynamic In Vitro Model Of The Stomach And Small Intestine
Beneficial Microbes, 2010; 1(1): 31–36
A.J.H Maathuis, D. Keller, S. Farmer

Impact of GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) on population dynamics of the human gut microbiota in a continuous culture fermentation system
International Journal of Probiotics and Prebiotics, 2011, 6 (1): 65-72
Harue Honda, Lesley Hoyles, Glenn R. Gibson, Sean Farmer, David Keller and Anne L. McCartney

Use Of A Continuous Culture Fermentation System To Investigate The Effect Of GanedenBC30 Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30, 6086) Supplementation On Pathogen Survival In The Human Gut Microbiota
Anarobe 2011, 17 (1): 36-42
H. Honda, G.R. Gibsona, S. Farmerb, D. Kellerb, A.L. McCartneya

Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30 (BC30) improves indices of Clostridium difficile-Induced colitis in mice
Gut Pathogens, 2011, 3:16
Leo R Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey S Small, Wallace H Greene, Kelly D Karpa and David Keller

Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 limits the recurrence of Clostridium difficile-Induced colitis following vancomycin withdrawal in mice
Gut Pathogens, 2012, 4:13
Leo R Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey S Small, Wallace H Greene, Kelly D Karpa, Sean Farmer and David Keller

Bacillus Coagulans Significantly Improved Abdominal Pain And Bloating In Patients With IBS
Postgraduate Medicine, 2009; 121(2): 119–124
Larysa Hun

Effects Of A Proprietary Bacillus Coagulans Preparation On Symptoms Of Diarrhea–Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 2009; 31(10): 655–659
B.J. Dolin


Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 Modulates Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in Older Men and Women
The Journal of Nutrition May 2015
Edna P Nyangale, Sean Farmer, Howard A Cash, David Keller, David Chernoff, and Glenn R Gibson

Immunomodulation of Antiretroviral Drug-Suppressed Chronic HIV-1 Infection in an Oral Probiotic Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses October 2014, 30(10): 988-995. doi:10.1089/aid.2014.0181.
Yang Otto O., Kelesidis Theodoros, Cordova Robert, and Khanlou Homayoon

GanedenBC30 Cell Wall And Metabolites: Anti–inflammatory And Immune Modulating Effects In vitro
BMC Immunology 2010, 11:15
Gitte S Jensen, Kathleen F Benson, Steve G Carter, John R Endres

Probiotic metabolites from Bacillus coagulans GanedenBC30 support maturation of antigen-presenting cells in vitro
World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2012, 18(16): 1875–1883
Kathleen F Benson, Kimberlee A Redman, Steve G Carter, David Keller, Sean Farmer, John R Endres and Gitte S Jensen

A review of probiotics studies in HIV research suggests improved immunological presentation and preservation of viral host restrictive factors of TH17 in HIV patients
Retrovirology, 2012, 9(Suppl 1):P22
M Selbovitz, Keller, Miller, Moore, Farmer and Bray

A Patented Strain Of Bacillus Coagulans Increased Immune Response To Viral Challenge
Postgraduate Medicine, 2009; 121(2): 114–118
Mira Baron

A Controlled Clinical Trial To Evaluate The Effect of GanedenBC30 On Immunological Markers
Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology 2010, 32(2): 129-132
M. Kimmel, D. Keller, S. Farmer, D.E. Warrino


Effect of prebiotics on the fecal microbiota of elderly volunteers after dietary supplementation of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086
Anaerobe Volume 30, December 2014, Pages 75–81
Edna P. Nyangale, Sean Farmer, David Keller, David Chernoff, Glenn R. Gibson

Bacillus coagulans : A Viable Adjunct Therapy For Relieving Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis According To A Randomized, Controlled Trial
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010, 10:1
David R Mandel, Katy Eichas, Judith Holmes

Bacillus Coagulans As A Probiotic
Food Science & Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods 2010, 7 (7): 103-109
D. Keller, S. Farmer, A.L. McCartney, G. Gibson

Roasted Salt & Vinegar Chickpeas

February 29th, 2016

Do you love the crunchy, salty tang of salt vinegar chips, but eating them makes you feel icky afterwards?

Resist no longer. Roasted salt and vinegar chickpeas are just as tasty and crunchy but with a protein-mineral punch that only garbanzo beans can deliver. This recipe is adapted from The Elephant Journal.



1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups white vinegar

Sea salt, to taste

3 tablespoons of Rich & Creamy Melt® Organic or Baking Melt®, softened


  • Place chickpeas, vinegar and a dash of salt into a pot and bring to a boil. Once the mix begins to boil, remove from heat immediately and allow the legumes to soak for 40 minutes in the warm vinegar.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Drain chickpeas of excess vinegar (which can be saved for making future batches).
  • Pour the chickpeas into a mixing bowl and toss with Melt Organic and salt to taste.
  • Once the chickpeas are evenly coated with Baking Melt and salt, spread them evenly on a baking sheet. NOTE: For extra flavor and kick, experiment with adding some pepper, chili powder or garlic powder.
  • Bake the chickpeas for 35-45 minutes; every 10 minutes, toss them around to ensure even roasting and to make sure they are turning golden brown (not black).
  • Remove from the oven once they are nice and toasted, and allow them sit for 10 minutes before munching. They should be crunchy on the outside and a little soft on the inside.
  • Store the leftovers in the refrigerator.


These can be made in larger batches (e.g., 3-4 cans of beans) to save time during the week. Having them waiting in the refrigerator makes wholesome food decisions much easier to make!

Melt Organic Love

January 26th, 2016

Founder, Cygnia Rapp, sat down with Joanne P of Wilmington, North Carolina to talk about the important role MELT® Organic plays in her journey by allowing her to enjoy a restricted diet through nutrition instead of paying for expensive prescription medication.

“Everything changed when I was diagnosed with my disease. I cringed, thinking ‘Oh My God I can’t eat almost everything!’ However, MELT was a really wonderful answer for me after I returned this other stuff that tasted disgusting and made me miserable. Now I make French toast and do all my cooking with MELT; I love using MELT in macaroni and cheese. My husband doesn’t even know the difference between MELT and butter! MELT is the one thing that is so great for me and I can’t wait for you all to make it in sticks.”

“I was diagnosed with collagenous colitis. At first, my doctor thought I had a heart condition, so I saw a series of heart doctors. You would not believe what I went through to find out what was wrong with me – over $6400 worth of medical tests. Since they weren’t any closer to figuring out why I was sick, they recommended a colonoscopy. I told them, ‘You people have had such a difficult time, I am going back home to get my colonoscopy done by my local doctor.’ It was my local doctor that diagnosed me with the collagenous colitis.”

“When my local doctor called in my prescription, the pharmacy told me it was going to be $2500 per month. I went into shock. Thankfully, the pharmacy called before filling the prescription because it was so expensive and I don’t have prescription medical coverage. I told them, ‘Oh My God, I am retired from real estate, I can’t afford that!’ I might as well get a chauffeur. My family and I went online and found what I could and couldn’t eat.”

“My doctor was pretty excited about taking my situation into my own hands through diet. After explaining how I had been hospitalized and in intensive care three different times from taking antibiotics, I asked if his prescription was an antibiotic [Yes] and whether he recommended the prescription. He said, ‘Not if you can get along without it.’ Most doctors would have told me that I had to take the prescription. You know how doctors are.”

“I want you to know that I love your product… I adore MELT.”

MELT® Organic Love

November 25th, 2015

Diana Reeves, GMO Activist, Founder and Executive director of GMO Free USA; recently sat down with our Founder, Cygnia Rapp, to discuss the inspiration behind GMO Free MELT Organic Spreads.


What inspired you to create MELT Organic?


I originally developed MELT out of a personal need as there was nothing in the market place that was as satisfying as butter. With several digestive disorders, I was on a restricted diet, including restriction of consuming my normal sources of fat, like butter. As anyone with a chronic illness knows well, it can be quite challenging to thrive on a restricted diet. After researching dietary fats, I discovered the amazing properties of virgin coconut oil and noticed an immediate benefit after consuming it. I experimented at home with making a butter substitute based on virgin coconut oil and the rest is history!


How has MELT changed your life (from both a dietary and personal perspective)?


MELT was and continues to be a Godsend for enjoying my food when I can’t eat butter, due to the lactose and casein. There is no other product like MELT on the market, particularly in regards to the unique combination of medium chain fatty acids from the virgin coconut oil and a healthy dose of Omega 3s from the flax oil. I am very proud of MELT being the best dairy-free fat blend out there for flavor, cooking and baking, and health. Having MELT instead of butter was a huge step forward for reversing my digestive disease because I could be consistent in following a diet-based therapy that included going dairy-free. Honestly, I still use MELT daily for its most basic application: on gluten-free toast.


What is your motivation behind having a verified non-GMO product?


I have serious concerns about industry-funded research that claims GMOs are safe to eat, especially since their trials have only been conducted on mice (none on humans) and the studies have a duration of only 90 days, which is too short to capture the effects of GMOs on health. Up to six different Bt toxins are inside every cell of corn, cotton (for cottonseed oil), and soy. Why would I want to consume toxins that has been bred into a food stuff, particularly in the form of a bacterium, which could interfere with my gut biome? It seems completely insane, especially since glyphosate is then required for external application, thus increasing exposure to pesticides: The scientific literature is quite clear about the serious, deleterious effects of consuming pesticides, specifically glyphosate, whether it contaminates our water source or remains in residual amounts in our food. While our product is certified organic, and organic certification bans GMOs, we sought out the non-GMO certification so our customers could have greater confidence of delivering against our promise. Because all MELT products are certified organic, use of synthetic pesticides is banned, which is much more restrictive than just the non-GMO certification.


From the perspective of a manufacturer, what is your take on the GMO Labeling fight? Do you favor an FDA mandate, leaving it up to the states to decide, or some radical new idea beyond the scope of what has been previously proposed?


I believe it is critical to have mandatory labeling of GMOs that, at a minimum, conforms to the same standard used by the European Union. There must be mandatory GMO labeling in order for people to have the option of making informed choices and the freedom to choose what they eat and feed their families.


Are there any new non-GMO products that we can be excited about from MELT Organic?


We are very excited to offer a new, breakthrough butter replacement, Probiotic MELT, which is version of Rich & Creamy Melt made with a probiotic, Bacillus coagulans. With the exception of probiotics, I personally do not support fortifying food products with isolated nutrients like Vitamin D, calcium, and Vitamin A because from my view, most fortifying is a gimmick by compensating for inferior ingredients, not being utilized by the body, or causing more harm than good. The exception is Bacillus coagulans because it’s a stable probiotic that remains inactive until its ingested, unlike Lacto-bacillus and similar bacteria found in yogurt and other foods, which decline rapidly following manufacture. Health practitioners widely agree that probiotic supplement is effective and worthwhile, hence I am thrilled to offer (and consume) Probiotic MELT.


We have also launched our baking stick version of MELT, which is specifically formulated for oxidative stability during baking and sautéing, and is just as creamy and delicious as Rich & Creamy MELT. Our customers have requested a baking stick product from us for a long time and we are finally delivering it!

MELT® Organic Love

August 24th, 2015

Cygnia, Founder of MELT, recently sat down with Diana Reeves, the Founder of GMO Free USA, to discuss why she loves MELT® Organic and her mission to educate people on the hazards of GMOs.

How did you discover MELT Organic?

“For me, it is about finding food companies that share my core values and support doing the right thing for our food supply and sustainable agricultural practices. Then I go to the next level, ‘Is this something I can eat?’ When I find a food product that meets all of my criteria AND is safe for me to eat, then I jump up and down and shout it from the rooftops because there aren’t many food products out there that I don’t have to make myself.

It’s actually safe for me to put MELT in my body, which is why I love it! First, your products are organic, which is a top priority in our food supply since we have far too many toxins. Second, your products address the GMO contamination issue with the Non-GMO Project verification. Third, there all of the wonderful things you do with sustainability and Fair Trade. Finally, my family loves MELT! Before discovering MELT, I was using one of your competitor’s products. When I found MELT I jumped for joy, ‘Yey! It’s organic!’, which is so important and it tastes so much better. MELT is truly second to none… what more could you want?”


What are your favorite uses of MELT?

“I love using MELT for sautéing, especially chicken. If I make eggs I always use MELT. Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite recipes and MELT is amazing for making the sauce, in addition to Chicken Lemon Piccata or any chicken cutlet recipe. Any time a recipe calls for butter I use MELT. We have gluten-free English muffins in our house, and my husband loves his gluten-free English muffins with MELT and jam – it is his thing. Every time there is an opportunity to put butter and jam on something, he has his MELT out. I don’t bake much right now because I don’t have the time. When things slow down in the fall after the Neil Young Tour, I will definitely use MELT for baking.


What led you to found GMO Free USA?

“I was a CPA in my former life – an auditor, not a tax accountant, and I was on track to become partner at one of the ‘Big 8’ accounting firms. My last day of work was when my two and a half year old son was diagnosed with a tumor in his brain.

His doctors explained that the cancer my son had – fibrosarcoma in the middle of his brain – was extremely rare and he was probably born with it.  Everyone was very puzzled by the tumor’s location since fibrosarcomas are associated with connective tissue and there’s hardly any connective tissue in that area of the brain. The doctors searched for a primary site elsewhere in his body and found nothing. They said it was a fluke.

My two and half year old son had four brain surgeries, plus additional surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. He ended up at the Mayo clinic and in the end we lost him after two years.

It is impossible not to beat yourself up with, ‘What did I do?’ The doctors said he was probably born with it, and then you say to yourself, ‘Babies are not born with cancer, there has to be something causing it.’

Jump backward, then forward.

When I first got into the Movement, I was not aware of what I am about to tell you, but it certainly motivates me now. One week after testing positive for my first pregnancy in September of 1983, I was in the yard managing weeds. Back then, everybody sprayed Roundup to kill the weeds. I was very conscious of the label – ‘non-toxic to humans, biodegradable’ – or whatever the language was at the time. The nozzle exploded and went all over my hands. I stood there and I remember thinking, “They better be right because if anything happens to this child, I am going to know why.” I never had a reason to revisit this because, as you know, the physiological effects of these chemicals and how they can enter into your body is not something every day people think about.

As you can imagine, I carry the memory of my son’s death with me.

Last summer, I attended a mini-conference directed towards the findings of the effects of glyphosate on breast milk, the so-called active ingredient of Roundup. I met one of the scientists who was very close to the Séralini study done in France and asked him what types of cancer are found in the rats that were fed no GMOs in their diet but were only exposed to environmentally relevant levels of glyphosate in their drinking water. I was told there was only one type of cancer: it was fibrosarcoma and that’s what my son had.

I remember my son’s doctors telling me, ‘Don’t beat yourself up, there are multiple factors. We don’t know if other toxins might have come into play, and why some people have these problems and others don’t’. Since I have the MTHFR genetic mutation, I suspect these toxins affected me more than other people and I know in my heart this is what caused my son’s cancer and his death. I have since had three children with no problems.

Roundup, known for destroying gut bacteria, along with antibiotics and other substances, was patented as an antibiotic microbial by Monsanto in 2010, so they know what it is doing to us. There’s a study that shows a level as low as 0.075 ppm of glyphosate kills beneficial gut bacteria in chicken, and of course there have been no human health trials to follow up on these findings.

In the mid-1990s, I read an article about GMOs and what they were doing to crops and said to myself, ‘This is a bad idea, why would you want to make food that can be sprayed with chemicals? The chemicals are going to be absorbed into the food.’ I said, ‘Ok mental note, keep an eye out, there’s going to be health ramifications; there have to be. Make a mental note and pay attention.’

In 2005, I read another article about the introduction of a new GMO crop, and I decided I wanted to know the residue level of Roundup in my food. I started making phone calls: I called the USDA and I couldn’t get anything from them; I called Pesticide Action Network.

I found that no one was actually testing for levels of glyphosate in our food supply and I was horrified. In the most recent report issued by the USDA where they track pesticides and agriculture, the USDA tested for every agrochemical except for the most ubiquitous one on the planet – glyphosate. The USDA does not test for glyphosate in our food supply. How is this possible?

In response, my organization began testing for glyphosate in common food products and the results we found are horrifying: we found Roundup in Fruit Loops and Morning Star Cereal (which has since been verified non-GMO by the NGP), and you know there are other products that are likely using the same ingredients as the Kashi line. We found Roundup in Morning Star Vege Burgers and ketchups. Our food supply is polluted. Trader Joes corn chips tested clean, which confirmed Trader’s Joes commitment to non-GMO, so it can be done. (But we know only 10% of conventional corn is non-GMO so it is very hard to find.) You must assume corn, wheat, soy, and other common crops are contaminated with glyphosate unless it is certified organic.”


What are the health issues you are managing?

“I have Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s, which are both triggered by gluten. Casein and soy trigger my thyroid. In addition, my body is hyper sensitive to GMOs. My sensitivity to GMOs is so pronounced, that I had chronic fatigue for over a year even though my diet was clean and I wasn’t eating any GMO foods. I couldn’t figure it out.  Three of my friends told me to check my vitamins to make sure they didn’t contain any GMOs and I was like, “Oh please, I could not possibly be that sensitive”.  After a year of chronic fatigue, I finally took their advice and checked with my vitamin companies. As it turns out, two of my vitamins had ingredients derived from GMOs – corn and soy. When I swapped them out with non-GMO products, I had a miraculous turn around in a matter of weeks. It was unbelievable.

In addition to Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s, I recently tested positive for a genetic mutation – MTHFR – which inhibits a person’s ability to detox and affects the methylation pathway and absorption of vitamins. Basically, my body doesn’t process toxins so they accumulate, which may be part of what I am experiencing.

My body is pretty complicated, but in many ways there are blessings to be found. I eat very healthy because I have no choice, but I enjoy it and I feel very lucky to be aware of the root causes of my health problems so I can manage them and still live a fulfilling life. Many people have similar problems but haven’t figured out why they are sick. The sad truth is our food system is poisoning us and it is not easy to put all of the pieces together.

I have three living children, and my son who is the oldest is the one who doesn’t have any major health issues. Both of my daughters have the same issues I have and my husband has Celiac Disease. Gluten and dairy make us sick. I am the front runner figuring out what is safe to eat and do my best to communicate my findings, hoping they listen. We have our hands full with dietary issues, but we have seen major improvements after completely removing GMOs from our diet, such as improvements in anxiety and, believe it or not, behavioral issues.”


What other initiatives or internal studies have you done to fill some of the information gaps?

“We have now accumulated over 2000 studies specifically on GMOs including peer-reviewed studies, reports or reviews, and research that reports harmful effects from genetically engineered foods and the agrochemicals that are used with them. We have had requests from scientists all around the world and we are at the point now – once I return from the Neil Young Tour – where we will need to raise funding in order to create a searchable database.

We also share studies on social media to educate people. A biochemistry study recently came out of Egypt based on voluntary safety assessments that showed on the 91st day of testing (as opposed to a 90-day study period of all tests funded by Monsanto), there was evidence of organ damage and other health problems like infertility. There is conclusive evidence that the GMOs themselves are causing serious health problems and it is important to get the word out.

We have been testing food products for GMO content. We tested a Gerber corn snack (intended for toddlers) and found the corn used was Bt corn, so its Roundup ready and engineered to tolerate being sprayed with Roundup. Bt corn has had the genes for a pesticide bacteria forced into the DNA of the plant so they express new genes containing the pesticides to kill insects when they bite into it. Studies demonstrate the harmful effects from consuming Bt corn as well, such as cell membrane death in humans and other immune disturbances. One study done in Canada (Sherwood Hospital) detected Bt toxins in 93% of pregnant women, and 80% in the cord blood of their unborn babies.

More research needs to be done. Monsanto and the biotech companies are controlling the messaging, which makes setting up this database more of an imperative so a tool is available for scientists, students, and the general public. Anyone should be able to type in key words like kidney toxicity and have a list of studies that pop up.”


“Factor GMO” Study first of its kind

“Factor GMO” is a HUGE, $25 million, first-of-its-kind GMO study that is kicking off in Europe. Last fall, I attended the press conference for this proposed study last fall in London. It will be a two to three year study that quantifies the multi-generational effects of GMOs with a focus on toxicity and cancer. It will be similar to the recent study that links the multigenerational effects of DDT (i.e., mother’s who are exposed to DDT have a higher chance of having children who contract breast cancer). The study will include evaluating the effects of GMOs, Roundup, and isolated glyphosate on birth defects, infertility, cancer and organ damage on a multigenerational scale. It should be a conclusive study whose findings will be difficult.”


Pompeo Bill, HR 1599

“What is going on politically with GMO labeling is quite frightening. Are you aware of what’s going on with the Pompeo bill, HR 1599? HR 1599 was recently amended and is under review by a Congressional Committee. In its current form this bill:

  • Prohibits GMO labeling at the state and federal level;
  • Allows foods derived from genetically engineered crops to be labeled “natural”;
  • Allows GM food products to be labeled “non-GMO” if GMO DNA is undetectable using current PCR test. Examples would include refined oils from GMOs (canola, soy, Bt corn), refined sugar from GM sugar beets, refined or processed products such as corn starch – all of those would be allowed to be labeled non-GMO. If you have a product that can’t be tested to determine the source of the materials, this bill would allow these foods to be labeled non-GMO.

In addition to these provisions, two particularly nasty revisions to bill HR 1599 include:

  • GMO crop regulation would only be allowed at the federal level, so any of the bans which have been passed at the county or state levels would all be overturned. For example, the farmers in Jackson and Josephine counties of Oregon recently passed local bans on GMO crops. The livelihoods of farmers growing organic seed for export and organic farmers are placed in jeopardy because GMO crops are a source of contamination through cross pollination. A public vote banned GMOs and now based on the latest revision of the Pompeo bill, those bans would be overturned and the farmers would have no protection.
  • Finally, this bill will only allow the USDA to set the standard for non-GMO. Since the USDA has already stated they will follow the outline in the Pompeo bill, any other private label standard would be abolished. The non-GMO Project would be eliminated because they would be forced to shut down.

This is just so sinister. Its mind boggling. They think we are asleep at the wheel and we’re not. When we go on tour with Neil Young, we are going to be educating people, inspiring them to take action, and contacting their representatives not to support HR1599, but to support instead the Boxer, Blumenthal, DeFazio bill which all call for true mandatory GMO labeling.

They really need to hear from us. There is an ‘astro-turf’ campaign right now where the biotech industry – we are not sure if its Monsanto or the whole group of them together – are making phone calls to deceive voters. They have people calling voters saying they doing a survey on GMO labeling, but instead their agenda is to convince voters that a federally mandated standard is the only way to go because a patchwork of state-level labeling laws would be too complicated for food manufacturers to follow. Once they get the voter to agree, they state they will send them a package of information to take action. These voters receive documents via priority or express that includes a letter pre-written by the biotech industry addressed to their congressperson stating they support and want their representatives to support HR 1599. These voters have been misled to believe they are asking their congressperson to support mandatory labeling when in fact what they are supporting by signing and sending the letter is exactly the opposite by outlawing mandatory labeling.

I am so driven because I don’t believe that we’re doomed. I truly believe there’s hope and we have to come together. Some say, ‘We can’t fight because there’s so much money in politics and we’re never going to win.’ I disagree; if we all come together and speak out and hold our politicians accountable for representing the people that voted them into office there is definitely hope.”


Where are you in getting the message out on HR 1599?

“We have a phenomenal reach on social media, between 5 and 10 million per week on FB and another 2 to 3 million on Twitter. People are hearing us and getting outraged, so basically it’s about inspiring them to take action. We also are not the only organization in the movement; there are others who are also working on it. Together we can make a difference.”


On a personal note, how do you keep yourself from burning out, how do you keep this mission emotionally sustainable?

“That is a very interesting question. There is nothing stronger than a mother’s protective instincts for her children and for all of humanity. I feel responsible. Neil Young feels responsible and we actually have a quote from him on our website. We cannot leave our children with this mess, which is what motivates me to get up and fight everyday until the cause is won or I am gone.

I had a grandmother and bless her heart she was 4’10” with a jaw full of metal and she said to me, “Dee you can do anything you set your mind to…”.  I had to believe her and her story applies to all of us.

We are promoting a test that is now available to the public where you can test for levels of glyphosate accumulation in your body. It is $119 per test that is not covered by insurance. Honestly Monsanto should be picking up the tab. but of course they are not. We are building a database of these test results so we can document all of these levels of accumulation. It empowers people to identify toxicity and do something about it; it also creates data that can be used in future studies.

One study found higher levels of glyphosate in organ tissue, muscle and body parts in individuals with chronic disease than in those who do not have chronic disease.”


Any other thoughts on MELT?

“You may be a small company, but you are mighty and doing amazing work by bringing change to our broken food system. Consumers are gravitating to your products because this is what we need in order to maintain our health. As a result, you are forcing change on the rest of the food system.  What you are doing with the MELT Organic line is very powerful and you should be very proud of it.

It is also very powerful that you haven’t sold out and we hope you don’t because we so appreciate who you are, being the little guy. When great companies are acquired, the quality deteriorates or these companies use the profits from their sales to fight GMO labeling, such as Kelloggs from their Kashi line.

We have been boycotting Kellogg for over 2 years. In 2013-2014, Kellogg ranked third in spending for blocking GMO labeling, spending $3.6 million on fighting GMO labeling initiatives and lobbying. In addition, they have contributed to defeating citizen’s campaign initiatives by spreading propaganda to the tune of $2 million. They claim GMOs are for feeding the world. If they took all of the money they spend on trying to hide what they put in their food products and invested it in something useful and productive like organic agricultural development or organic foods for feeding hungry children, just think of how much good they could do. We fight to force them to change.

I can’t live with anyone who poisons children. Kellogg is knowingly and intentionally feeding children Roundup-laced, genetically engineered foods. The corn in Fruit Loops kills insects when they bite into it – we tested it.”


MELT® Organic Love

July 28th, 2015

Peg H., diagnosed with incurable cancer, sat down with Cygnia, Founder of MELT® Organic, to discuss her new soy-, dairy-, and casein-free food love: Rich & Creamy MELT.

Thank you Cygnia! I just discovered Rich and Creamy MELT® Organic at my grocery store, and cannot tell you enough how wonderful it is! Amazing! After being diagnosed with incurable cancer five years ago, complications of ongoing treatment left me permanently unable to tolerate any dairy or soy proteins.  If your experience is similar to mine then you know how sad and challenging it can be to have dairy and soy dietary restrictions as they are found in almost everything. There are few choices in butter substitutes that contain no dairy or soy. They nearly all have one, the other, or both. The few alternatives that met my dietary needs were not wonderful to taste.

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE MELT.  Best snack to date – ever – was popcorn popped in Rich and Creamy MELT, then shaken in my homemade Almond Vegan Parmesan Cheese substitute.  Can’t get enough of it!!  Can’t wait to try it in my recipes, but for now I mostly savor MELT on bread and crackers, yum!

For me it was chemo damage that left me unable to handle proteins from dairy and soy so even buying everyday staples like bread became a challenge, and convenience freezer type foods became a thing of the past.  However, once you settle into the idea that you need to cook basically everything from scratch, there is still the challenge regarding ingredients like butter and margarine, which typically have whey, casein, soy or any combination of the three.  When it comes to soy, even going vegan doesn’t work.  Many available options just taste so bad or bland that it reminds you of just how sad the situation is.

That’s what made my chance encounter with MELT so wonderfully surprising.  So much so that I had to take the time to thank you.  Since going through my life changes, I have become very creative at finding solutions, like making dairy-free versions of Alfredo and Stroganoff. However, Cygnia, you didn’t just find a solution, you created one – an absolutely marvelous one.  I am certain you know how wonderful it is to find something that feels and tastes familiar, but without all of the pain. MELT is that for me… a delicious spread, just the way I remember butter tasting.

I never want to be out of MELT again!

I still want to cry when passing a cheese counter? How about a Cheese 2.0??

Slow Cooked Short Ribs (Gluten-Free)

July 20th, 2015

This Slow Cooked Short Ribs recipe is one of my favorites. It’s the ultimate comfort food, especially served over traditional Indian basmati rice, and a wonderful dinner to come home to after a long day at work. Serves 5 to 6.



2 lbs short ribs

½ head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

½ to 1 lb of small carrots, peeled, with the bases cut off

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

2 to 3 tablespoons MELT® Organic

½ onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of high quality curry powder mix – the quality will affect the outcome

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

1 cup homemade bone broth

1-14 oz can of Glen Muir roasted chopped tomatoes

Cilantro, leaves removed from stems, to taste


  • Turn Crock Pot on “high”.
  • On your stovetop, preheat a skillet on medium with virgin coconut oil. When the oil is liquid (but not smoking) and the pan is hot, brown the short ribs.
  • Add the browned short ribs to the crock pot with its juices.
  • Turn the stovetop down to medium-low and sauté the onions in MELT until the onions have softened.
  • Add the garlic, curry powder, salt, and pepper, and sauté lightly for a few minutes to activate the spices.
  • Add the broth and tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  • Pour and scrape all of the skillet contents over the short ribs in the Crock Pot.
  • Add carrots and cauliflower to your Crock Pot, but only so they are resting on top and are NOT submerged in liquid.
  • Cook on high in your Crock Pot for 6 to 8 hours. Add the cilantro leaves about 30 minutes prior to serving.
  • Serve with cooked rice of your choice.

Goat Cheese and Pesto Pizza (Gluten-Free)

July 1st, 2015

Odds are you don’t have any idea how much vitamin K you are getting in your daily diet. Should you? Probably not, but if you’re interested in knowing; vitamin K is kind of like a glue for other proteins. It helps bind calcium to your bones and helps blood coagulate.

What does this have to do with pizza, you ask? Basil has 98% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K.

If I were a doctor, and I want to be very, very clear about this – I am not a doctor. But if I were, I would write you a prescription for this pesto pizza.

Take one slice of this Pesto Pizza with liquid. For maximum results, take two.

Seriously, though. Not a doctor.


Yields one 12” pizza.



For the gluten-free crust:

3 cups gluten free flour blend (1 cup white rice flour + 1 cup brown rice flour + 1 cup tapioca flour + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

1¼ cup warm water, divided

1 tablespoon MELT® Organic, softened

For the Pesto

3 cups lightly packed bail leaves

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium/ high heat until toasty)

1/3 cup olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Toppings for the Pizza

4 oz fresh goat cheese

Toppings of choice: 1 thinly sliced tomato and sautéed shitake mushrooms


For the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine yeast and ¾ cup warm water (about 110 degrees). If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast! Let it set for 5 minutes to activate. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of the sugar a few minutes in.
  • In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour blend, salt, and baking powder. Whisk until well combined.
  • Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add the MELT and an additional ½ cup of warm water before stirring. Then use a wooden spoon to stir it all together until well combined.
  • Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with non-stick spray and plop your dough down. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge until the crust is pretty thin – less than 1/4 inch.
  • Place the pizza crust in the oven and pre-bake for roughly 25-30 minutes, or until it begins to look dry. Cracks may appear, which is fine. Remove the pizza crust from the oven.

For the Pizza:

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Make the Pesto by combining the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor and process until just slightly chunky. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the remaining olive oil in a steady stream. Add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and continue processing until smooth.
  • Generously spread the pesto sauce over the top of the pizza crust and add the toppings of your choice (sliced tomato and sautéed shitake mushrooms) followed by soft mounds of goat cheese.
  • Carefully place the pizza in the oven until your toppings are warm and bubbly and the crust edge looks golden brown, between 15 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole (Gluten-Free)

June 25th, 2015

Our Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole is classic comfort food without making you feeling uncomfortable later. Spaghetti squash has a surprisingly similar texture to hash browns but with much more to offer nutritionally. Combined with sautéed onions, creamy yogurt, and raw goat cheddar, this satisfying dish will be a welcome addition to your family dinner. Adapted from Detoxinista. Serves 4-6.



1 medium spaghetti squash

1-2 tablespoons MELT® Organic

½ large or 1 small yellow onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 cup plain goat milk yogurt

3 oz raw goat cheddar, shredded and divided into 3 equal piles

1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Black pepper, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut the spaghetti in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Place the spaghetti halves face down on a baking sheet and cook for 60 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the outer shell.
  • Remove the squash from the oven and turn the halves face up so they can cool.
  • Lightly sauté the onion in MELT over low-medium heat until it is tender. Add the pressed garlic and stir so it loses its raw smell, but does not burn.
  • Transfer the onion and garlic to a large sized mixing bowl and combine with the yogurt, 2 oz of the cheddar, salt and pepper.
  • When the spaghetti squash is cool, use a fork across the width of the squash to scrape out the “noodles” and add to the mixture. Mix well.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 2.5 quart casserole dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top and return to the oven to bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 400 degrees, or until a light golden brown crust has formed on the top. Serve immediately.


Glazed Double Chocolate Donuts (Gluten-Free)

June 17th, 2015

These Glazed Double Chocolate Donuts are a delightful, rich treat and a welcome change from highly processed donuts made from HFCS, refined wheat, and rancid oils, especially if you are like me and can’t remember the last time you ate a donut. Best of all, these grain- and gluten-free donuts are made with coconut flour, and are baked instead of deep fried. This recipe is adapted from the Detoxinista and makes 6 standard donuts.

Healthy Donut


For the Chocolate Donuts:

¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
¼ cup Chocolate MELT®, softened
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze:

½ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon Chocolate MELT


  • Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a standard donut pan generously with coconut oil.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda and whisk so the dry ingredients are well mixed.
  • Add in the eggs, Chocolate MELT, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk again until a uniform batter is created.
  • Transfer the batter to a plastic storage bag, and snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, to create a “piping bag.” Pipe the batter evenly into the six donut wells.
  • Bake the donuts at 350F for 18-20 minutes, until the dough has risen and is firm to the touch.
  • Allow the donuts to cool for 15 minutes, then gently remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. (If you grease the pan well enough, they should slide right out.)
  • To glaze the donuts, prepare the chocolate glaze by melting together the Chocolate MELT and dark chocolate chips. The mixture will be in liquid-form when warm, but will solidify as it cools. It is easiest to glaze the donuts by dunking them into the melted chocolate mixture while it’s still warm.
  • To quicken the hardening of the glaze, place the glazed donuts in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Feel free to give the donuts a second glazing, if desired.

Gluten-Free? Or Low-FODMAP diet?

June 11th, 2015

Have you heard about the low-FODMAP diet, but have no idea what it is? This week’s blog attempts to shed some light on clarifying what FODMAPs are and why they are important for anyone with a history of digestive disorders (referred herein as IBS).

Reducing or eliminating food intolerances for managing IBS symptoms has been gaining momentum in health-conscious circles for decades. While dietary modifications are not a cure for IBS, they can improve symptoms and quality of life. In particular, the low-FODMAP diet has been shown to improve symptoms in at least 74% of patients with IBS. Non-celiac gluten intolerance has been reported (1), but further research is needed to identify the underlying mechanism. The relative ease of implementing the low-FODMAP diet combined with considerable evidence supporting its effectiveness suggests the low-FODMAP diet should be the first dietary approach in people diagnosed with IBS.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates and related alcohols that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. The term FODMAP is an acronym, derived from “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols” (2). The low FODMAP diet was developed at Monash University in Melbourne by Peter Gibson and Susan Shepherd (3,4).

How was the low-FODMAP diet discovered?

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, evidence was building for the role of poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates (lactose and fructose) in inducing IBS symptoms, with dietary restriction providing symptomatic relief (5-8). It was clear, however, that these sugars were not the only culprits. Other short-chain carbohydrates were identified as poorly absorbed in the human GI tract, such as fructo-oligosaccharides (fructans), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and sugar polyols, sorbitol and mannitol (artificial sweeteners also found naturally in some foods).

Gibson and Shepherd were the first to publish a description of FODMAPs in 2005 (9) with the first published research trial in 2006 (10). A total of 74% of patients reported symptomatic improvement on the low-FODMAP dietary regimen. The efficacy of the low-FODMAP diet was confirmed and reconfirmed in subsequent trials and studies (11, 12).

Two additional trials (13, 14) identified the mechanisms that explained the gastrointestinal (GI) effects of FODMAPs: poor absorption in the small intestine, increased water content of the output (explaining why some experience diarrhea), and fermentation of the short-chain carbohydrates, which induced bloating, distension, abdominal pain and excessive flatulence. The low-FODMAP diet reduces fermentation and associated gas production, which is likely to reduce symptom severity of IBS patients.

Other potential factors include alterations in the gut microbiota number, composition, function and location. Some patients with IBS have small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) with fermentation of malabsorbed carbohydrates occurring in the narrow lumen of the small intestine, the location of which may be associated with abdominal pain and discomfort. With more predominant methane-producing bacteria, fermenting malabsorbed carbohydrates would produce methane gas, which is linked to delayed transit and constipation (15-17).

Since these initial studies, the FODMAP approach has been fine-tuned to include GOS, sorbitol and mannitol, in addition to fructose, lactose and fructans. These six carbohydrates make up the low-FODMAP diet as it is today, with published tables of food composition available on fruits and vegetables and breads and cereals (18-20). The table below summarizes the richest FODMAP food sources.

FODMAP foods table60

What does this mean for you?

Not all FODMAPs will trigger symptoms and will depend on whether they are malabsorbed by the individual. Importantly, fructans and GOS are always malabsorbed and fermented by intestinal microflora (21-23) as are the sugar polyols, sorbitol and mannitol (24-27). Other FODMAP carbohydrates will only induce symptoms in the proportion of patients with IBS that malabsorb them.

Breath testing is useful for clarifying which FODMAP foods to avoid on an individual basis by providing a reliable measure of test sugar absorption via measurement of breath hydrogen lev­els (28). A significant rise in breath hydrogen following ingestion of the test sugar (e.g. fructose) demon­strates poor absorption with fermen­tation by intestinal microflora. Negative breath tests demonstrate complete absorption of the sugar and suggest that the patient can consume this sugar without a negative impact on their symptoms.

Commonly offered breath tests for detecting FODMAP intolerances are typically for fructose, lactose and sorbitol (28). Regardless of breath test results, there are three other FODMAP carbohydrates that need to be considered as potential triggers. Fructans and GOS are not breath tested as they are always mal­absorbed. They are always fermented and should be considered as triggers in all IBS patients. Mannitol is rarely offered as a breath test because it is not found widely in the diet and can be inves­tigated as a trigger through simple dietary elimi­nation and rechallenge (28).

The results from breath tests can be used to implement a low-FOD­MAP diet without restricting sugars shown to be well absorbed. This individu­alizes the diet and avoids unnecessary restrictions as well as assisting with the long-term nutritional composition of the diet (28). In addition, FODMAPs have prebiotic effects due to the production of short-chain fatty acids after fermentation. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to try and reintroduce FODMAPs to a level that they can comfortably tolerate (28).

  1. Biesiekierski, J.R., Newnham, E.D., Irving, P.M., Barrett, J.S., Haines, M., Doecke, J.D. et al. (2010) Gluten causes gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects without celiac disease: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. AmJ Gastroenterol 106: 508–514; quiz 515.
  2. Shepherd, S. (2013) Low FODMAP Recipes. Melbourne, Australia: Penguin. ISBN 9780143567561.
  3. FODMAPS. King’s College, London. Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences.
  4. Gibson, P.R., Gibson, P.R., Shepherd, S.J. (2010). Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 25 (2): 252–258. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06149.x. PMID 20136989.
  5. Goldstein, R., Braverman, D. and Stankiewicz, H. (2000) Carbohydrate malabsorption and the effect of dietary restriction on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and functional bowel complaints. Isr Med Assoc J 2: 583–587.
  6. Nelis, G.F., Vermeeren, M.A. and Jansen, W. (1990) Role of fructose-sorbitol malabsorption in the irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology 99: 1016–1020.
  7. Rumessen, J.J. and Gudmand-Hoyer, E. (1988) Functional bowel disease: malabsorption and abdominal distress after ingestion of fructose, sorbitol, and fructose-sorbitol mixtures. Gastroenterology 95: 694–700.
  8. Symons, P., Jones, M.P. and Kellow, J.E. (1992) Symptom provocation in irritable bowel syndrome. Effects of differing doses of fructose-sorbitol. Scand J Gastroenterol 27: 940–944.
  9. Gibson, P.R. and Shepherd, S.J. (2005) Personal view: food for thought – western lifestyle and susceptibility to Crohn’s disease. The FODMAP hypothesis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 21: 1399–1409.
  10. Shepherd, S.J. and Gibson, P.R. (2006) Fructose malabsorption and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: guidelines for effective dietary management. J Am Diet Assoc 106: 1631–1639.
  11. Shepherd, S.J., Parker, S.C., Muir, J.G. and Gibson, P.R. (2008) Randomised, placebo-controlled evidence of dietary triggers for abdominal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 6: 765–771.
  12. Staudacher, H.M., Whelan, K., Irving, P.M. and Lomer, M.C.E. (2011) Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. J Hum Nutr Diet 24: 487–495.
  13. Barrett, J.S., Gearry, R.B., Muir, J.G., Irving, P.M., Rose, R., Rosella, O. et al. (2010) Dietary poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates increase delivery of water and fermentable substrates to the proximal colon. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 31: 874–882.
  14. Ong, D.K., Mitchell, S.B., Barrett, J.S., Shepherd, S.J., Irving, P.M., Biesiekierski, J.R. et al. (2010) Manipulation of dietary short chain carbohydrates alters the pattern of gas production and genesis of symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 25: 1366–1373.
  15. Chatterjee, S., Park, S., Low, K., Kong, Y. and Pimentel, M. (2007) The degree of breath methane production in IBS correlates with the severity of constipation. Am J Gastroenterol 102: 837–841.
  16. Fiedorek, S.C., Pumphrey, C.L. and Casteel, H.B. (1990) Breath methane production in children with constipation and encopresis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 10: 473–477.
  17. Pimentel, M., Lin, H.C., Enayati, P., van den Burg, B., Lee, H.R., Chen, J.H. et al. (2006) Methane, a gas produced by enteric bacteria, slows intestinal transit and augments small intestinal contractile activity. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 290: G1089–G1095.
  18. Pimentel, M., Mayer, A.G., Park, S., Chow, E.J., Hasan, A. and Kong, Y. (2003) Methane production during lactulose breath test is associated with gastrointestinal disease presentation. Dig Dis Sci 48: 86–92.
  19. Biesiekierski, J.R., Rosella, O., Rose, R., Liels, K., Barrett, J.S., Shepherd, S.J. et al. (2011) Quantification of fructans, galacto-oligosacharides and other short-chain carbohydrates in processed grains and cereals. J Hum Nutr Diet 24: 154–176.
  20. Muir, J., Rose, R., Rosella, O., Liels, K., Barrett, J., Shepherd, S. et al. (2009) Measurement of short chain carbohydrates (FODMAPs) in common Australian vegetables and fruit by high performance liquid chromatography. J Agric Food Chem 57: 554–565.
  21. Muir, J.G., Shepherd, S.J., Rosella, O., Rose, R., Barrett, J.S. and Gibson, P.R. (2007) Fructan and free fructose content of common Australian vegetables and fruit. J Agric Food Chem 55: 6619–6627.
  22. Macfarlane, G., Steed, H. and Macfarlane, S. (2008) Bacterial metabolism and health-related effects of galacto-oligosaccharides and other prebiotics. J Appl Microbiol 104: 305–344.
  23. Rumessen, J.J. and Gudmand-Hoyer, E. (1998) Fructans of chicory: intestinal transport and fermentation of different chain lengths and relation to fructose and sorbitol malabsorption. Am J Clin Nutr 68: 357–364.
  24. Saunders, D.R. and Wiggins, H.S. (1981) Conservation of mannitol, lactulose, and raffinose by the human colon. Am J Physiol 241: G397–G402.
  25. Ong, D.K., Mitchell, S.B., Barrett, J.S., Shepherd, S.J., Irving, P.M., Biesiekierski, J.R. et al. (2010) Manipulation of dietary short chain carbohydrates alters the pattern of gas production and genesis of symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 25: 1366–1373.
  26. Evans, P.R., Piesse, C., Bak, Y.T. and Kellow, J.E. (1998) Fructose-sorbitol malabsorption and symptom provocation in irritable bowel syndrome: relationship to enteric hypersensitivity and dysmotility. Scand J Gastroenterol 33: 1158–1163.
  27. Fernandez-Banares, F., Esteve-Pardo, M., Humbert, P., de Leon, R., Llovet, J.M. and Gassull, M.A. (1991) Role of fructose-sorbitol malabsorption in the irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology 101: 1453–1454.
  28. Barrett, J.S. and Gibson, P.R. (2012) Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) and nonallergic food intolerance: FODMAPs or food chemicals? Ther Adv Gastroenterol 5(4) 261–268. DOI: 10.1177/ 1756283X11436241

Food Companies Certifying Themselves as Non-GMO Could Pose Risk to Consumers

June 4th, 2015

Recently in the news, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) was reported as having its own non-GMO seal, which is not the case and is causing some confusion. Instead, a Minnesota-based company known as SunOpta chose to internally develop standards for their own non-GMO seal, which they reviewed with the FDA. The FDA approved; SunOpta then approached the USDA for approval through their program known as “Process Verified,” where the USDA verified that SunOpta is adhering to the rules SunOpta developed internally. In other words, SunOpta is using their seal for non-GMO status, and not a seal developed by the USDA.

It is important to note that the USDA and FDA are not determining whether SunOpta’s standards meet or exceed currently accepted definitions of non-GMO. For example, a third party organization called the Non-GMO Project (NGP) has a certification program verifying the non-GMO status of foods and NGP’s “Non-GMO Verified” seal is shown on many organic products. SunOpta opted not to pursue certification with NGP in favor of developing their own Non-GMO certification. While SunOpta’s non-GMO seal is for commercial purposes and not for consumers, this precedent poses two potential problems.

First, companies with food products sold to consumers could propose that the FDA and USDA approve their own non-GMO seal, leading to potentially multiple non-GMO seals in the marketplace, each with their own internally-defined standards. Without a third party review of those standards, different levels of GMO contamination could be allowed in food products and dilute consumer protection from consuming GMOs. Currently, up to 0.9% of GMOs are allowed by NGP certification standards.

Second, meat and dairy companies – who are currently unable to secure NGP certification – could petition their internally developed non-GMO standards and seals to the FDA and USDA by stating their animals have not been genetically modified. This is a misleading statement because these same companies could still feed their animals GMO feed. Potentially, a milk product found in grocery stores could be labeled non-GMO, yet that company could have fed GMOs to their animals for producing milk.

Always Go Organic

While non-GMO is ALWAYS better than conventional, the bottom line is ALWAYS buy organic where feasible. Organic food products are superior to non-GMO certified food products because organic standards 1) already prohibit the use of GMOs, and 2) prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, insecticides and fungicides, which are allowed in non-GMO products.

The use of chemicals on crops is meaningful and of real concern. Why?

According to the President’s Cancer Panel, 41% of the U.S. population is expected to contract cancer and 21% of the U.S. population is expected to die of cancer. The Panel stated that it was “particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread.” One recommendation made by the President’s Cancer Panel is to choose “food grown without pesticides.”

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that pesticides pose a grave danger to children: “… acute poisoning risks (from pesticides) are clear, and the understanding of chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure are emerging. Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems. Related animal toxicology studies provide supportive biological plausibility for these findings.”

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