Holistik Health

Author - Mat Robar

Food Preservation, War, and The Women’s Movement

War touches everything. Over history it has divided time periods and influenced the food we eat to a great extent, both in availability and quality. Poor nutrition is not often considered a casualty of war. But what is more unfortunate than a permanent, negative shift in the way we nourish our bodies?

We can probably blame Napoleon. To a certain extent, it all started with him. Military and political leader. Ambitious. Strategic. And a little bit chubby. Napoleon had a one-track mind: to win wars at all costs.

In 1809 Napoleon put forth a challenge. Anyone who could find a way to sustain his army for long periods of time while they were at war would be rewarded handsomely. Their food was going rotten.

French inventor Nicolas Appert rose to the challenge. He began experimenting with food preservation by putting foods in glass jars, sealing them with cork and wax, and placing them in boiling water. Canning was born, and Appert walked away with a hefty cash award of 12,000 francs plus his name in the history books.

Refrigeration followed. Then frozen foods were “discovered” by Charles Birdseye. In 1924 we started using ethylene gas to force the ripening of produce in the backs of trucks instead of allowing time for natural ripening.

And then there was war again. After the war ended, we found ourselves with factories full of nitrogen that had been used to make weapons. Profit-driven geniuses came up with the idea of re-selling that nitrogen as fertilizer for plants. Our fertilizers are composed of a formula containing Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the other 17 trace minerals that are essential for optimum health. We mostly just wanted to squeeze some profit out of the leftover nitrogen.

And so we did. From here, we began making pesticides and herbicides in the 1940s.

In the 1950s we sent our women to work to cover for the men while they went back out to war. We encouraged them to come out of their kitchens, and promised that our microwavable TV dinners in aluminum containers were just as good as their homemade meals. While their dinners were nuking, we told them they could earn an income. Do their nails. Or watch TV. As long as they remembered to add “processed foods” to their grocery lists. Everyone bought right into it.

Today we’ve evolved to food mechanization, GMOs, and plant breeding. We’re slightly smarter about the processed foods, but now time is an issue. We’re already depending on double incomes. No one is home for dinner. And even if they were… we’ve forgotten how to cook.


Let’s take the image of a pear in a can. Most people think: What’s the big deal with that? Still a pear, right? Still healthy?

Here is how a canned pear would be less healthy than a fresh one:

  1. The skin is removed so there is no fiber.
  2. It contains additives and preservatives for color and freshness.
  3. There is BPA in the can lining that may have leached into the fruit.
  4. There is a carbon footprint on the packaging.
  5. There could be metal toxicity from the can.
  6. It has a lower nutritional value.
  7. It is not local and probably the product of mono-cropping.
  8. It is likely irradiated and not tree ripened.


Clearly food preservation is here to stay. And I don’t think there’s an easy answer for health-conscious shoppers. I usually start by speaking to my clients about their priorities and lifestyles. I want to know how serious they are. It all comes down to making decisions to live within your means, prioritize healthy food and exercise, and make lifestyle changes to save your sanity and well being.

No – cooking is not faster than a microwave dinner. And a meal prepared in 15 minutes is not always just as good as one that took an hour. Make the time. Remember what it feels like to chop and peel and marinate overnight. Great things take time and they don’t happen by accident. They require planning. And sometimes making hard decisions.

What are the things that you really need in your life? What’s taking up all your time? In my home, we spend more money on high quality groceries than most couples. To support that, we don’t have a car. We chose to keep jobs that are close to home, within walking or biking or running distance over higher paying jobs where we’d be under the stress of heavy commutes. It’s not always easy, but it’s a lifestyle choice.

Changes are always small and slow. The important thing is that we start somewhere.

Resveratrol Benefits & Trans Resveratrol – Superfoods 101


Ok, so Resveratrol is not technically a superfood, its a polyphenolic compound found within natural food sources.

That said, the anti oxidant properties of this compound paired with its link to The French Paradox put it on the list.

Enjoy your Superfoods 101 video – Resveratrol Benefits & Trans Resveratrol

Superfoods 101- Camu Camu Berries Health Benefits


Ever heard of the famed Camu Camu berry?  Camu has been starting to gain a lot of popularity amoung health inthusiasts based off of its vast nutritional profile and large quantities of vitamin C.

Enjoy the Superfood 101 Series video below of The Health Benefits of Camu Camu Berries.

Superfoods 101 – What is Maca & Maca Health Benefits

Personally, if a food was good enough for the ancient warriors of the Incan civilization I figure there has to be something to it….

Enter the Maca Root.

This amazing root has been linked to numerous health and well being benefits including energy, stamina and even fertility!

Watch the Superfoods 101 video now and get informed.

Want more?  For an even more in depth look at the Maca Root, visit the link.

Superfoods 101 – Moringa Oleifera

For those of you who are just looking for our Top Recommended Moringa product, Click Here to buy our Top Moringa Recommendation from Amazon or visit the link below.

NOTE: Companies cannot buy our recommendation, we only recommend brands we believe in.  Full disclosure, if you purchase from a link on this site we may receive a commission.  You will never pay more and will often pay less.   For any questions, please visit our Affiliate Disclaimer.

It goes by many names: Moringa, Malunggay, The Drumstick Tree, The Horseradish Tree, The Tree of Life and more.

Learn How to Cook with Moringa here

Now its time to learn the facts about moringa in our next installment of the Superfood 101 series.

Want more?  For an even deeper look at Moringa Oleifera, follow the link.

Moringa Oleifera Growing Wild in Kenya

On a recent trip to Africa, we found ourselves in Malindi, Kenya.

A little habit of mine, where ever I end up is to check out the local foliage and fauna to see whats growing out there. Much to my surprise, on this one square acre plot by the beach I was able to find two of my favorite trees, the Moringa Oleifera Tree.

I would go into all the specifics in this post on why the tree is so beneficial, but its really interesting to see the different growth patterns you can see on this tree if not properly maintained for cultivation.

Check it out and to learn more about moringa check out our in depth moringa post here.

For our Top 10 Moringa Recipes, Click Here.

For those of you who are just looking for our Top Recommended Moringa product, Click Here to buy our Top Moringa Recommendation from Amazon or visit the link below.

NOTE: Companies cannot buy our recommendation, we only recommend brands we believe in.  Full disclosure, if you purchase from a link on this site we may receive a commission.  You will never pay more and will often pay less.   For any questions, please visit our Affiliate Disclaimer.

Vegucated Movie Trailer

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Have you ever thought about going VEGAN?

Just the thought almost scares a lot of people and even some vegetarians are hesitant.

Well a new movie just came out by Kind Green Planet called “Vegucated” and is about 3 non-vegans going on a journey to no animal products for 45 days.

Check out the Vegucated trailer and help spread the word.

The Carrot Vs The Twinkie……


If you are like a lot of people who are interested in eating better and living a healthier life, you have no doubt seen the vast disparity in cost between good foods and bad ones. It essentially makes it harder for people with lower incomes to maintain a healthy diet because of the way our food system is setup. This is the cycle that we currently find ourselves in, one of obesity, diabeties and record profits from drug and mass food producers.

This is a prime understanding that you must grasp if you want to truly “get” what is happening with health and food in our country and around the world.

The video below does a great job explaining why its much much cheaper to produce a Twinkie than a Carrot.

Goji 101- What They Aren’t Telling You About Goji Berries

You have no doubt heard of Goji.  The small little red Himalayan Goji berry has grown from literal non-existence on an international scale to being the worlds most widely used nutritional supplement worldwide, and with good reason.

So if your ready to learn about the famed Goji Berry, go ahead and watch the Goji 101 video below.

Want More?  For an even deeper look at the Goji Berry, follow the link.