Items filtered by date: Thursday, 14 September 2017

Care Indeed hosts 1st volleyball tournament

Care Indeed, a leading non-medical home care provider in the Bay Area, hosted its first Volleyball Tournament last Saturday, September 9, at the SportsHouse in Redwood City.
The tournament had 8 teams competing. To qualify, each team had at least one Care Indeed employee. Silicon Valley Dolls won the event, bagged $1,500 in cash, and received a trophy for each player. Kiss My Ace won second place, and took home $1,000 in cash and a trophy for each member. 
Dee Bustos, Care Indeed's CEO said, "The first rule of taking care of others is to take care of yourself first. This event is a chance for our employees (caregivers) to take a breather, and have the opportunity to recharge, just like what they did during our 2nd Family Fun Day last June. We opened this event to the public, and we were overjoyed by the response. We got to watch and play against amazing volleyball players. In the future, this is something that I'd like other home care agencies to participate in."
Vanessa Valerio, Care Indeed's COO and VP for Patient Care, added, "This event would not have been possible without the generous support from our sponsors: ClearCare. Thoits Law, Nuddleman Law Firm, Avenidas/Avenidas Village, JMS Medical Supply, Docs and Images, and the Palo Alto Daily Post. I'd also like to acknowledge my team who worked hard in making this event a success."
For more information about Care Indeed's home care services and job openings, please call (650) 328-1001or log in to



Bill to improve patient care pushed by dialysis patients in rally

OAKLAND -- Scores of dialysis patients and allies conducted a rally at DaVita Alameda County Dialysis in Oakland to give emphasis deficiencies at the clinic and to also urge state lawmakers to support a bill that would improve patient care at some 104 dialysis clinics in the Bay Area and other part of California.

For dialysis patients like Banbury Holmes of Oakland, who stopped going to dialysis clinics for treatment after he suffered severe bleeding and now does dialysis at home, passing the SB 349 or the Dialysis Patient Act is a matter of life or death for dialysis patients.

“Even with home dialysis, I’m not 100 percent safe, but I would rather be in control than be at the mercy of a corporation that doesn’t care about me. When caregivers have too many patients and not enough time, our safety is on the line,” Banbury lamented.

According to the California Department of Public Health, DaVita Alameda County Dialysis recorded 26 deficiencies during its last inspection this year.

The deficiencies included:

· Failure to ensure the clinic was clean and sanitary for 114 patients;
· Failure to ensure the clinic was maintained to ensure the safety of the patients and staff;
· Failure to maintain fully equipped, well maintained emergency carts and evacuation kits;
· Failure to conduct audits that ensure medications were securely stored and unavailable to unauthorized people; and
· Failure to ensure patients’ eyes were visible to staff throughout dialysis treatments.

Seeking to improve patient care, safety and staffing at 570 dialysis clinics in California, SB 349 passed the California Senate in May and awaits a floor vote in the California Assembly by Sept. 15.

It would mandate safer staffing levels, require annual inspections of clinics, whereas they are now inspected an average of every five to six years, and allow more time for patients to recover after treatment and for staff to sanitize equipment and prevent patient infections.

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment for 66,000 Californians with kidney failure, but their patient care is suffering. The two largest dialysis corporations – DaVita and Fresenius – made a combined $3.9 billion in profits from their dialysis operations in the United States in 2016, but are fiercely opposing the legislation, claiming it is too expensive.


FilAm speaks out in support of SB 349

LOS ANGELES – Eighty dialysis patients and allies rallied on Thursday, Sept. 7 at Fresenius Kidney Care San Fernando, 451 S. Brand Blvd., Suite 100, in San Fernando to highlight deficiencies at the clinic and urge state lawmakers to support a bill that would improve patient care at dialysis clinics in California, including 24 in Sacramento County. On Sept. 6, another rally was also held in Moreno Valley.

SB 349, the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, seeks to improve patient care, safety and staffing at 570 dialysis clinics in California. It passed the California Senate in May, and awaits a floor vote in the California Assembly by Sept. 15. It would mandate safer staffing levels, require annual inspections of clinics, whereas they are now inspected an average of every five to six years, and allow more time for patients to recover after treatment and for staff to sanitize equipment and prevent patient infections.

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment for 66,000 Californians with kidney failure, but their patient care is suffering. The two largest dialysis corporations – DaVita and Fresenius, according to SEIU, made a combined $3.9 billion in profits from their dialysis operations in the United States in 2016, but are fiercely opposing the legislation, claiming it is too expensive.

“Passing this bill is a matter of life or death for dialysis patients like me,” said Tangi Foster, a dialysis patient from Northridge. “There’s no reason dialysis clinics should be held to a lower standard than nursing homes and hospitals in California.”

Fresenius Kidney Care San Fernando recorded 22 deficiencies during an inspection earlier this year, according to the California Department of Public Health. Despite that report, the clinic received four stars out of five, under the industry’s rating system. The deficiencies identified by inspectors included:

· Failure to ensure employees properly washed their hands, which put patients at risk of cross contamination and spread of infection;
· Failure to ensure the emergency cart was clean and free of expired medication, syringes and other equipment; and
· Failure to maintain a safe and comfortable environment, as indicated by equipment improperly left out near patient treatment areas, and dusty or dirty facilities.

Fil Am Emerson Padua. a patient care technician at DaVita in Moreno Valley, gave a speech at a rally held in Sacramento in May, in support of SB 349, the Dialysis Patients Safety Act, which would require staff to patient ratios of 1 to 8 for nurses; 1 to 3 for patient care technicians and 1 to 75 for social workers. Less than 24 hours, Padua said, DaVita terminated him. He claims that he has had no bad performance reviews at the clinic where he has worked for 15 years. "It started with my union activity and me trying to organize my colleagues back in August to improve the worker environment. Based on my clinical skills, I was the leader of this facility," he added. But DaVita officials say that Padua was fired for problems with job performance and deny they would take action against employees because of union activities.


PG&E electric crews head to Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma

San Francisco, CA — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews are being deployed to help restore power to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma.

About 125 PG&E employees, including line workers, equipment operators, supervisors and support personnel, will fly from California to Florida this week as part of the Hurricane Irma response team. Crews from throughout PG&E’s 70,000-square-mile service area will travel to Florida as part of a mutual-aid agreement with Florida Power & Light (FPL) to support restoration efforts.

“When major earthquakes struck Napa in 2014 and the Bay Area in 1989, and when Super Storm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, our employees stepped up to help those in need. Safely restoring power to customers affected by major disasters such as a wildfire, hurricane or earthquake begins the process of returning life back to normal for communities," said Nick Stavropoulos, President and Chief Operating Officer of PG&E. “It's our job and commitment to do this for our customers in California, and we're happy to be able to extend our efforts to those in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma.”

In 2014, PG&E and FPL signed an historic, cross-continent mutual-aid agreement, pledging support in the event of a major natural disaster, such as an earthquake in California or a hurricane in Florida. Besides the commitment of personnel, the agreement between PG&E and FPL includes logistics, common work procedures and safety protocols. This marks the second time this agreement has been activated. The first was for Hurricane Matthew, last fall, when PG&E crews were prepared to go to Florida but ultimately weren’t needed. Per the agreement, FPL as the host utility will cover the costs of this support.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Irma is a potentially catastrophic, Category 5 hurricane with maximum winds of 185 mph. Irma made landfall in Florida over the weekend.

PG&E crews departed for Florida from the Sacramento area.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and


Walmart and Walmart Foundation announce at least $1 million toward Hurricane Irma relief and recovery

Bentonville, ARK. -- In anticipation of Hurricane Irma, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made a commitment to provide support for relief efforts through cash and product donations of at least $1 million to organizations helping in response.

"We are deeply concerned about the devastating impact Irma is expected to have on the families and communities we serve," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "We are committed to recovery efforts for our customers, associates and neighbors and will be there to help them through this difficult time."

Walmart is taking action by:

Centralizing preparedness efforts through the Walmart Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which operates 24 hours a day, tracking storm impacts and supporting our associates' needs and well-being.
Taking care of our associates by communicating with our store and club location management teams, reminding our associates of emergency procedures and what to do before, during and after the storm.
Activating emergency support teams dedicated to helping our stores and club locations during critical events such as this one, and providing subject matter experts in logistics and emergency management to assist local emergency operations centers.
Mobilizing truckloads of water into the potentially affected area to help meet the growing demand, understanding that water is a need across the region.
Supporting operators in the field and our replenishment teams to help ensure that shelves remain appropriately stocked.
Ensuring that our stores and club locations remain open for our customers as long as safe conditions prevail. If mandatory evacuations are ordered, we will close our facilities with enough time for our associates to secure shelter for them and their families.

Walmart and Sam's Club also continues to support Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery and is working with organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Convoy of Hope to coordinate work with elected officials and governmental entities. The company will continue to monitor Hurricane Irma and all other active storms in the coming days.

For the latest on response and recovery efforts, visit:

Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping our communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. Since 2005, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.


POTUS' first tweet on DACA: Congress should ‘get ready to do your job’

What's clear: Trump is giving Congress six months to write a law
The first alarm pertaining to the 2012 Obama administration policy zeroing in on protection to youngsters who had been living illegally in the United States brought by their parents, was sounded off by President Trump who called the same order "horrible," as he made it one of his campaign promises that it would be "ended immediately."
However, after his assumption to the presidency, Trump was not heard to repeat that aforementioned promise. Observers were quick to point out that the post-election scene could have softened the Trump stance.
President Trump was quoted by news reports: he was "gonna deal with" those receiving deferrals "with heart." But when the fifth day of September arrived, Trump announced in a brief written statement that DACA was coming to its end.
President Obama, who has offered extremely rare public criticism of his successor, strongly disputed Republicans' assertion that he exceeded his presidential power, writing how he relied "on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike "to set priorities for immigration enforcement."
He called the Trump action "a political decision, and a moral question," adding: "Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated."
The same Trump decision was called an act of 'pure cruelty' by numerous voices, one that threatened the well-being of at least 800,000 people who live in the country illegally through no fault of their own, traced to decisions made by their parents.
Trump did not make the announcement himself. He passed it on to Attorney General Jeff Sessions who made a brief speech on DACA. The gist of the pronouncement: those who have already been granted what is known as "deferred status" will not be immediately or suddenly cut off.
Part of the announcement: the administration will give Congress six months to decide whether to renew the protections legislatively before ending them. Although Sessions called it a "wind-down," what he declared, offered no comfort to hundreds of thousands of people raised as Americans.
There lies the possibility that as of a given date, the same DACA recipients will no longer be able to live and work legally on these shores where they were raised, educated, and imbued with the knowledge that the U.S. was the sole country they've known since childhood.
What is pathetic is how numbers of those protected by DACA, led productive lives after reaching the stage where they could find employment opportunities in line with their schooling and training, and now what faces them is the cloud of uncertainty.
Congress can work on the DREAM Act. It is not that hopeless.
There is the Alien Minors Act (identical to DACA), where participants can't have had a serious criminal past and must be in school, or have graduated or serve in the military. Owing to their status, they are far from posing a threat to public safety or national security. It is a comfort to learn that several versions of the DREAM Act have been introduced by both Democrats and Republicans.
Polls indicate that even a majority of Republican voters strongly believe the so-called Dreamers merit help and protection. In studying the reason behind the DACA availability, the youngsters came owing to family ties and wage and employment differentials between
their respective countries of origin and the U.S.
Were DACA to be rescinded, or if Congress were to deny it to proceed, it would be an assault on immigrant families and communities. It is therefore up to Congress to restore a huge measure of sanity and constructive purpose to immigration policymaking.
Should the Dream Act fail due to Republican obstruction or a presidential veto, GOP leaders will need to explain to the majority of Americans, who according to poll studies that approve of DACA, the rationale why Congress won't resort to establishing a humane act that would continue supporting the legalization of the promising youngsters who have proven themselves as worthy members of the U.S. population.
By state, the Department of Homeland Security has data on where most of the "Dreamers" live:
California.......... 222,795
Texas............... 124,300
Illinois............. 42,376
New York...... 41,970
Florida.......... 32,795
Arizona........ 27,865
North Carolina.... 27,385
New Jersey........ 22,024
Georgia.............. 24,135
Washington....... 17,843

Despite Trump's expressions of 'love' for Dreamers, in moving against DACA, it is clear that he is set in fulfilling the promise to end it, one that he made -- in much stronger and harsher terms during his presidential run.
The "now" scene remains: The DACA status will be honored by immigration authorities until current permits expire.
The delay is meant to give Congress time to pass a law that would solve the status of the DACA holders.



Every fall at about this time, East Bay Regional Park District volunteers participate in the annual California Coastal Cleanup, a statewide effort to collect litter and recyclables from public shorelines.
This year’s cleanup will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16. Volunteers will convene at Carquinez Strait and Martinez Shoreline in Martinez, Point Pinole and Point Isabel in Richmond, Crown Beach in Alameda, Martin Luther King Jr. ˜÷÷÷÷≥µ÷µShoreline in Oakland, Hayward Shoreline in Hayward, and Lake Del Valle south of Liµ≥÷≥≥≥≤vermore.
The Park District will provide snacks, water and trash bags. It’s a great family activity; volunteers 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration is required. For information and registration, call 510-544-2515.

* * *

Also at Carquinez Strait, naturalist Kevin Dixon will lead a “Family Night” stroll from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at the Nejedly Staging Area, which is on Carquinez Scenic Drive just past Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery in Martinez.
It’s a chance to meet your neighbors and enjoy an easy walk, suitable for strollers, wheelchairs and all ages, with beautiful views of the strait. For information, call 510-544-2750.

* * *

Along with turning leaves and cooler weather, another harbinger of fall in the natural world is spider activity. Naturalist Trent Pearce will explore the phenomenon with a series of spider safaris, all from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in various regional parks.
The group will search for orb weavers, wolf spiders, mygalomorphs (another kind of spider), and the ever-popular tarantulas.
There’s a safari on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley, starting at the Environmental Education Center. Another is on Sept. 30 starting at the Crockett Ranch Staging Area of Crockett Hills Regional Park in Crockett, led by Anthony Fisher. It’s back to Tilden’s Environmental Education Center on Oct. 1, and the last safari starts at the Tilden Steam Train on Oct. 29.
For information on any of the spider safaris, call 510-544-2233.

* * *

Astronomically speaking, another sign of fall is the autumnal equinox, when the sun is over the equator and the day and night are of equal length. It occurs this year on Sept. 22.
Naturalist Trail Gail Broesder will lead a hike in search of signs of impending fall from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Briones Regional Park near Orinda. Meet at the Alhambra Staging Area on Reliez Valley Road near Martinez.
The hike is for ages eight and older. For information, call 510-544-2233.

* * *

The biggest trees in the world are the subject of a program by naturalist Michael Charnofsky from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Roberts Regional Recreation Area in the Oakland hills.
On a 1½-mile walk, Michael and the group will search for evidence of a redwood tree that was 32 feet in diameter, and visit the site of the Blossom Rock Trees that were visible from San Francisco Bay.
Meet at the park’s main entrance, which is on Skyline Boulevard about a mile north of the intersection with Joaquin Miller Road. For information, call 510-544-3187.

* * *

There’s a hide and seek of sorts in the works at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, orchestrated by naturalist Kristina Parkison.
Kristina’s Curiosity Cart, filled with wonders of cultural and natural history, will be hidden somewhere within the park during programs from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, and 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30. Find the cart and enjoy learning about its contents.
Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3220.

* * *

And there’s all kinds of information about East Bay Regional Park District programs and facilities at the district web site,


Draw Near To God

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you—James 4:8

My four-year-old grandson Sebastian was told by his parents not to play with his big plastic beach ball inside the house. That’s because he almost toppled the picture frame in the living room. Did Sebastian listen to his parents? Apparently not, for he was bouncing his ball indoors the very next day. When he threw it up in the air, the beach ball landed on the big screen TV almost toppling it over. Of course, his parents heard the commotion and came running to see what had happened. When they arrived at the scene of the crime, the little boy was nowhere to be found. In fear, Sebastian ran upstairs and hid under his bed.

When we know that we did something wrong, we don’t naturally hang around to face the music. What do we do? Like Sebastian, we turn tail and run. Adam and Eve didn’t hang around to face the consequences of their sin. When they heard God draw near to them while walking in the garden, they felt the awful sting of their sin. It was too difficult to bear. Fear had taken its toll in their lives causing them to run and hide among the trees.

When we sin, drawing close to God is the furthest thing from our minds. So it’s always up to God to make the first move towards us. If not, we would be lost in our sins. If you have drawn near to God to make things right in your relationship with him, it was because he drew you to himself. Jesus said, “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.”


‘Pray for us,’ implores Florida governor

LOS ANGELES – Senior Pastor Rev. Glenn Oyan of the Los Angeles Filipino Baptist Church is heeding the appeal from Florida Governor Rick Scott for prayers as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on Sunday, Sept. 10.
According to the National Weather Service, the first landfall occurred at 9 a.m. at Cudjoe Key (southwest of Miami), followed by a second landfall in Marco Island (southwest Florida), at 3:35 p.m., with damaging wind gust of 130 mph, accompanied by heavy rains and flooding. There could also be tornadoes, according to forecasters. The hurricane center warned that Irma is expected to “move near or over the west coast of the Florida Peninsula through Monday morning.”
Joey Omilla from Tampa, Fla., reported that they expect Hurricane Irma to hit Tampa, ‘between midnight and 3 a.m. Monday.’ Joey, a former Bayanihan dancer, hopes that the ‘storm stoppers’ they installed will protect their house. “To all our family and friends, who pray for us here in Florida, thank you. We need all the prayers we can get. Please continue to pray for us. Thank you and love you all!”
“Join us at our church to pray for our brothers and sisters,” Pastor Glenn invites the faithful, “if you are looking for a place to worship, join us on Sundays, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.” The church is located at 837 South Park View Street Los Angeles, CA 90057.
“We have been serving the Lord, first as a mission since 1971, and in 1975, as an organized church,” added Pastor Glenn. “Our Church is small, located in the heart of Los Angeles. Our members are mostly Filipinos but all ethnic groups are welcome to join us. We would like to embrace all people who love and want to serve the Lord Jesus and we will welcome you as part of our church’s personal family.” The church, a member of the Filipino Southern Baptist Missions, has given birth to new missions and churches, according to Pastor Glenn, in California cities such as Glendale, Carson, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Lancaster, Palmdale, Long Beach, Oxnard, Fullerton, and La Puente.
“As our church expanded, several pastors have been ordained and commissioned to new missions,” he stated. God has been good to us these last couple of years. We have dedicated babies to the Lord and baptized people who accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. We are blessed that the men and women who led this Church exemplified strong moral and spiritual standards; standards that shaped our values, minds, spirits, and hearts. Our aim is to live and maintain the preaching and passion to the next generation.”
The Los Angeles Baptist Church distributes food at Rosewood Gardens, 504 N. Berendo St., Los Angeles, CA 90004, on the first Friday of the month at 3:30 p.m. “It’s absolutely free,” announced Pastor Glenn, “it is as easy as meeting the eligible income limits. Only one food ticket per individual/family will be accepted, and picking up food for someone else is not allowed. Sign-ups begin at 1:30 p.m., so please arrive early in order to sign in and receive a food ticket.” The Baptist Church thanks the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, United States Department of Agriculture, Feeding America, and Los Angeles Housing Partnership, celebrating its 28 years, for making the food distribution possible. For information, contact Pastor Glenn at
(213) 386-2585.


Red meat and cancer

We have discussed this red meat-cancer link in this column a few years back, but recent studies have sparked new interest on this medical controversy, and confirmed fundamental findings which might be of interest to you. After all, everyone wants to be as healthy as possible and live as long as our telomeres would maximally allow.

What are telomeres?

Telomeres are the protective caps at each end of our DNA. They shorten with age and could also be affected by good or bad lifestyle. Avoiding bad habits and bad diet (living a healthy lifestyle) will slower its shortening, therefore, maximizing life span.There are now on the market DNA tests that will track cellular age (telo-years) based on telomere length, for $129 per test.

But why test for the amount of “poison” in our system and spend that amount for a test when the better way is to stop taking in known “poisons” and simply live a healthy lifestyle thru exercise, diet, abstinence from tobacco, moderation in alcohol intake, and stress management with RRR (regular rest and relaxation).

As far as diet is concerned, red meat is on the spotlight again.

What’s with red meat?

Red meat (beef, pork, veal, lamb, mutton, goat, and other mammalian muscles), fresh or processed, are both suspected to increase the risk for cancer and other major illnesses. The processed ones are deemed worse. Some of the processed red meats are sausages, bacon, ham, patties, hamburgers, bologna, corned beef, salami, pepperoni, pastrami, most deli-meats, and canned meats.

How much red meat is consumed in the USA?

In the United States last year, it is estimated that one person consumed about 106.6 pounds of red meat. Over the years, the consumption of red meat has gone down from 145.8 pounds per individual in 1970 to almost 40 pounds less today. The past ten years alone saw the red meat eaten has gone down about 10 pounds per person. The lowest on record was in 2014, at just 101.7 per person. Indeed, red meat intake has dramatically fallen the past four decades because of widespread news of colorectal cancer and other forms of malignant tumors, and their link to consumption of red meat.

Why are so many eating less red meat?

Besides being more expensive than white meat and plant-based food items, the damaged reputation of red meat as being unhealthy for us and its link to increased cancer risk, and the warning being on the internet and all social media today, people around the world are becoming more educated and health conscious. Their desire to live healthier and longer is encouraging them to stay away from red meat and instead eat fish, legumes (the various types of beans and garbanzos) and/or chicken as sources of protein. For breakfast, many have switched to the old fashioned oat meal and some fruits, instead of high carb foods (like rice, bread, pancakes, waffles, soft drinks (liquid candy), etc.) and processed foods which are also high in saturated fat (bacon, sausage, ham.)

Is read meat really that bad?

The World Health organization in October 2015 highligted in a report that “when it comes to red meat intake, cancer is perhaps the most well-established health implication.” It concluded that red meat is "probably carcinogenic to humans," meaning that there is some evidence that it can increase the risk of cancer, a cancer-causing agent. It has been found that those who eat a lot of vegetables, legumes, fish daily (instead of red meats) are healthier and less prone to cancer. The Cancer Council recommends no more than 455 g of red meat a week, if any at all. Many abstain from red meat and opt for fish, vegetables, legumes, which are protective against many forms of cancer, like colorectal, stomach, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers

What are processed meats?

The World Health Organization defined processed meat as "meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation," and as such is "carcinogenic to humans." There is sufficient evidence today that processed meat intake increases cancer risk.

What in red meat is cancer-causing?

Studies have shown that two groups of toxic agents (cancer-causing), Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclice aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed when muscle meat (beef, pork, poultry and fish) is cooked at high temperature, like pan frying or grilling directly over an open flame. HCAs and PAHs are known to damage DNA and suspected to increase the risk for cancer formation. The World Health Organization says ”that each 50-gram portion of processed meat - which primarily includes pork or beef - consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.” The burned (charcoal black) portions of fried or grilled meats are toxic.

How did WHO come to that conclusion?

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed more than 800 independent studies analyzing the effects of red meat and processed meats on the different types of cancers. The evidence uncovered reveled that those who ate red meat had increased risk for colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer. There are ongoing studies about the role of HCAs and PAHs in human cancer risk.

Why the shift to plant-based foods?

There are approximately 8 million adults in the United States who are vegetarians or vegans for animal welfare, the 2016 Harris Polls reported. But there are millions more who are switching from red meat to plant-based diet because it is healthful. A position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in December 2016 suggested that “a plant-based diet can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 62 percent, as well as reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.” Actually, what entice people is not only the health benefits of consuming plant-based foods but the significant link of eating red meat and cancer.

What are the options?

As we grow older, health becomes more significant and a priority. The adage “Health is Wealth” is most valid and true. Just ask those millionaires or billionaires who are going blind from a disease with no cure, or who are dying from cancer, or losing their mind from Alzheimer’s. They would give up their material wealth in an instant just to regain their health.

We have options. Since we do not know if our genes (DNA) can tolerate and survive regular red meat consumption without developing cancer and major cardiovascular illnesses, it behooves us to enjoy a diet of fish, vegetables, legumes, and nuts daily and stay away from, or significantly reduce, our red meat intake, in view of the scientific evidence before us. Or, we can continue our red meat diet and accept the consequences of killer diseases and of premature death. Like anything in life, it is a matter of choice.

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