Archive for Medical Information

Global Updates July 12, 2016: World Chaos is Accelerating

It has been some time since I posted.  I apologize as a lot has transpired over the last two weeks.  To make up for lost time, I am going to give you the briefing points you need to know.

  1. South China Sea dispute heats up.  For those of you worried about the potential for WWIII, we just got one step closer today when the UN committee set up to arbitrate the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines ruled in favor of the Philippines.  Right or wrong, China utterly rejected the ruling and reaffirmed its self-perceived right to continue to economically and militarily develop the region as it sees fit.  This sets the stage for China to walk away from the international community to protect its interests while many smaller Pacific nations like Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan will feel emboldened to challenge China.  My prediction is this ruling will only fuel hostilities in the region and set the region on a collision course for war.
  2. The spread of superbugs in the US that are resistant to all known antibiotic treatments continues. For a second time in less than a month, colistin resistant E. Coli has been identified in the US.  The strain in question tested positive for the gene mcr-1, which makes it resistant to colistin, a last resort antibiotic.  Per my previous articles (search antibiotic resistant on the LMS homepage), the spread of resistant bacteria is increasing in frequency and could easily hit a breakout stage in the near future.  Once the mcr-1 resistant gene jumps to other resistant infections such as highly resistant Tuberculosis now being brought into the US by the thousands via illegal immigrants and refugees, it is only a matter of time before a true pandemic sweeps across the globe again.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/superbug-coli-found-time-us/story?id=40488140
  3. Obama is preparing to use wartime (Global War on Terror) martial law powers to ban and seize firearms for “national security.” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has been in secret talks with President Obama and other top officials to engineer “gun control” as a national security issue.  The intent, like with nearly every other “Right” under the US Constitution is to suspend the Second Amendment or make it virtually meaningless by using unconstitutional wartime interpretations and rulings of executive powers.  Their plan, like I have detailed repeatedly over the last decade (see: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2015/12/06/the-problem-isnt-islamic-terrorism-it-is-guns-according-to-emperor-obama/), is progressing on schedule.  Obama and his Leftist goons are intentionally inciting division and violence and fully plan to use the predictable violent outcome to justify “federal government” action and emergency powers that restrict firearms for “national security.”  After the events of Dallas and President Obama’s utterly despicable statements, it is clear that this administration is prepared to act as soon as this summer if more violence can be incited across the nation.
  4. Turkey continues to use “terrorist” attacks within its border as cover for supporting terrorists in Syria that vow to kill Americans. It is critical to understand Turkey has been proven to openly conduct false flag attacks against its own citizens to support President Erdogan’s radical agenda.  Most recently, Turkey has suffered a number of major attacks blamed on both ISIL and Kurdish rebel groups, but that is questionable to say the least.  True or not, Ankara wasted no time using the attacks to justify a Turkish military invasion of Syria.  However, the Turkish military has done nothing to destroy radical Islamic groups operating in Syria.  In fact, a closer analysis clearly shows that the Turkish military has instead been used to resupply radical Islamic groups to include the Al Nusra Front and ISIL/ISIS while smashing US backed Kurdish positions.  Ankara is determined to undermine Syrian President Assad and specifically has used its military to push back Kurdish positions in key blocking positions so that it could resupply radical Islamic fighters on the verge of being routed from Aleppo by Syrian forces.  If Syrian forces retake the lost ground and are again about to liberate Aleppo, expect to see another “terrorist” attack inside Turkey that will be immediately used to justify even greater military incursions into Syria to back radical Islamic extremist groups.  As Syria and Russia continue to mop up ISIL positions and approach Raqqa, I fear this could lead to another direct engagement with Russian forces, which could quickly plunge the region into a major war.
  5. US continues to lose ground in Afghanistan. President Obama signed off on increased troop levels in Afghanistan to help combat the Taliban.  In reality, the US completely ceded most of Afghanistan to the Taliban when Obama pulled the bulk of our forces out and our footprint in Afghanistan is getting more and more untenable.  It has gotten so bad, military logisticians plan up front to lose over 20% of any supplies shipped into Afghanistan because of the Taliban.  Further, Special Forces A-Teams are thinly spread across Afghanistan in a vain attempt to train and advise Afghan forces.  This WILL FAIL because the entire concept of training and advising is at best of limited value and at worst, counterproductive, but our brilliant military strategists are too stupid and indoctrinated to recognize the facts.  If a large contingent of forces are not recommitted under competent leadership to Afghanistan, the Taliban will likely begin to capture and hold major cities by years end and begin to directly threaten Kabul on a sustained basis as early as next summer.
  6. Number of US forces continues to quietly increase in Iraq as undeclared war continues. President Obama signed off on additional troop deployments to Iraq to support on-going efforts to recapture Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul from ISIL.  Like I predicted (see articles: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=strategy+in+iraq), none of Obama’s faux “strategy” would prove effective and he would again prove to be a hypocrite and put boots on the ground, which he promised not to do.  To date, none of those cities have been completely liberated.  The long overdue offensive on Mosul is again delayed and most likely also going to fail.  At best, Iraqi forces will blast their way through the city, but will find it impossible to root out ISIL elements because the inhabitants of the city “ARE” ISIL.  The Sunni population in Mosul is hostile to the government in Baghdad and isn’t going to change anytime soon unless everyone in the city is killed.  It is important to note that even at the height of the Iraq War, the US military never fully pacified Mosul and was literally fighting in the city as President Obama unilaterally declared our surrender in Iraq.  The bottom line is this deployment of troops is another vain endeavor that will fail because it is led by incompetents.  No further understanding is necessary to KNOW this ends badly for the US and Iraqis.

By Guiles Hendrik

July 12, 2016

Tuberculosis is reemerging as a major health threat in the US

Following up to my previous articles on antibiotic resistant bacteria, Tuberculosis (TB) has reemerged as one of the major antibiotic resistant disease threats to the public.  TB in particular is highly contagious and is a disease you CAN get just from sitting beside someone on a bus or train.  TB used to be one of the biggest killers in the world until antibiotics all but erased the disease from the US.  However, TB persisted in other nations and is now returning in force to the US via illegal immigrants and refugees.  Unlike before though, the strands of TB carried by these illegals are resistant or highly resistant to antibiotic treatment and pose a huge threat to public safety.  Sadly, because of political correct insanity, our own government has chosen to risk the lives of the population and ignore this threat.

You read that correctly.  Even though antibiotic resistant TB has the ability to rapidly spread and become a death sentence for thousands of innocent American citizens, your government and media have ignored it.  They are more concerned about flooding your local towns with enemy combatants to create chaos and division or to create Democrat majorities in key swing states than they are concerned about your health.  This is deadly treason and will kill more Americans than any terrorist attack.  I have repeatedly warned about this bio-terrorism http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2014/09/26/obama-administration-is-carrying-out-bio-terrorism-inside-the-usa/.  Even worse, it is completely preventable, but our “leaders” refuse to do a thing about it.  Once resistant TB reaches epidemic proportions the politicians will feign ignorance and will act surprised, but make no mistake, they were fully briefed on the threat while it could still be contained and did nothing. Read more

Age of the Super Bug has dawned: Are you ready for a bio-catastrophe?

Why should you care about what I am writing about today?  “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.” (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)  This is about to get potentially unimaginably worse.

Back in 2013, I wrote an article entitled, “Head of CDC Says It’s Time to Sound the Alarm on Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs” http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/tag/incurable/.  In it, I explained that we were reaching a point where the spread of antibiotic resistant diseases would fundamentally alter our lives.  In a world of resistant bacteria, even simple infections from cuts and scrapes will be deadly.  Modern surgical medicine will be highly risky to impossible because of the untreatable bacterial infections.  Perhaps most terrifying, the resistance will spread to previously eliminated diseases like Tuberculosis and allow for them to reemerge in a much more lethal form.  I warned that if new antibiotics were not developed, we could soon be facing a time where cities become nothing more than death zones.  Now, only three years later, we have crossed a major milestone of the worst case with the confirmed emergence of bacteria in the US resistant to the last resort antibiotic treatments.

Let me be clear.  The US government is in panic mode behind the scenes.  Although, government officials are sounding the “stay calm,” doctors and infectious disease specialists are much blunter about the dire implications of bacteria that are totally resistant to our treatments of last resort.  Lena H. Sun writes in the Washington Post; “For infectious-disease experts, the nightmare scenario is for the gene to spread to bacteria that are now susceptible only to colistin.  That would make them invincible to any antibiotic, unstoppable by the most lifesaving drugs of modern medicine.” (Source:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-these-biomedical-detectives-identified-the-dreaded-new-superbug-in-us/2016/06/06/96ac8922-2bda-11e6-9de3-6e6e7a14000c_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_most-draw6)  As soon as the resistance is spread to other bacteria and they become more wide spread, the consequences could be catastrophic.  It is so serious; it isn’t a coincidence the discovery was made by the Department of Defense (DoD).  The DoD has conducted research into biological weapons for decades and views the development of last resort resistant bacteria in the US like a nuclear weapon about to be unleashed.  In fact, it actually could be far worse.  Read more

Cellphones Now Linked to Cancer

As I have repeatedly warned, radiation from cellphones will eventually be clearly linked to cancers and especially brain tumors contrary to the initial claims by the government and cell phone manufacturers.  The data will soon become overwhelming that there is a direct link between cancers and cell phone use and it will have massive implications for wireless technologies.  Today, a massive federal study conducted over two and a half years by the National Toxicology Program linked radio-frequency (RF) radiation emitted by cellphones can cause cancer.

According to Mother Jones, “the findings from a $25 million study, conducted over two and a half years by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), showed that male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation were significantly more likely than unexposed rats to develop a type of brain cancer called a glioma, and also had a higher chance of developing the rare, malignant form of tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart.”  This is the first study to provide truly damning evidence that links malignant tumors with cell phones.  If this study holds up and the findings are valid, it means that we are likely on the verge of experiencing a global epidemic respective of these types of cancers.  Cell phone linked cancers will be like smoking linked lung cancers of the 20th Century.  The lawsuits will be massive and dwarf anything the penalties ordered against the tobacco companies.

Beyond cell phones, this could eventually call into question the safety of the entire wireless technology market. Read more

Thank you Obamacare: Drug shortages increasing in USA and will only get worse.

Readers of Last Minute Survival will know that I have discussed on many occasions the long term detrimental impacts of socialized health care. Some of the most serious problems that inevitably arise are increasing costs of care (to the point of unaffordable), serious shortages in both drugs and doctors (to the point of unavailability), a decrease in the quality of care (to the point of forced acceptance of lower standards), and an increase in wait time for procedures (to the point of patients dying before than can get definitive care). These problems are endemic to socialized healthcare systems and can be contemporarily witnessed in places like Venezuela where the ability to obtain toilet paper and sutures has become impossible since the socialist takeover of the country’s government. Now, contrary to the rosy picture the Obama Administration has painted of its signature healthcare reform package, the US has begun to demonstrate those very same predictable symptoms of a healthcare system beginning to collapse. In particular, this article looks at the unprecedented spike in drug shortages that have not so coincidentally occurred since Obama took office. Is it time to panic? No, but it is time to take note and reverse the socialist course of governance in the US. Failure to reverse course will lead to the destruction of the US healthcare system in short order. As this article documents, the drug shortages have already begun to dramatically increase. Read more

MERS Update Warning: Potential for global outbreak high ahead of Hajj Pilgrimage

In previous updates, I have warned that there was a high potential for MERS to spread rapidly during the Hajj Pilgrimage.  Based on recent confirmed cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia, it appears that MERS may indeed get an excellent opportunity to breakout globally.  If even a very small percentage of the millions that have embarked on the Hajj Pilgrimage return home infected with MERS, we will be dealing with a  potentially global pandemic.

Case and point.  South Korea just spent months aggressively trying to contain a small outbreak. If even a dozen more infected individuals had mingled through Seoul while contagious, South Korea could still be dealing with a major healthcare crisis that overwhelmed their system.  Further, MERS in the opinion of many experts is far worse than even Ebola because it is more contagious and just as deadly even though it hasn’t received the same attention.

LMS is upgrading its safety precautions for the time period beginning this week and extending until 30 days after the Hajj is complete.  For you safety during this period, we recommend that travelers avoid Saudi Arabia.  Further, avoid anyone that has recently traveled to Saudi Arabia or has been in contact with others traveling to Saudi Arabia.  If you know someone that has and they are exhibiting flulike symptoms, recommend they get evaluated at a hospital for MERS immediately and self-quarantine until you know that the person is clear of MERS.  If you begin to suffer flulike symptoms after potential exposure, get medical help immediately.  Remember, once the pilgrimage is complete it will take some people weeks to return home.  As such, medical monitoring during the virus incubation period must be conducted for a prolonged period of time post pilgrimage before one can conclude the virus did not break out of the Middle East.

Respective of hygiene and preventative measures, continue to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, face, inner nostrils, and mouth.  Further, use an HOCL compound such as “Briotech” to decontaminate and kill the virus on contact.

http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-mers-infections-soar-ahead-hajj-pilgrimage-100219590.html

 

By Guiles Hendrik

August 20, 2015

 

 

 

Prepper Danger Alert: MERS breaks out of the Middle East

MERS, source: CDC

MERS, source: CDC

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, “MERS,” is a respiratory virus that kills nearly 40% of people infected and has its origins in Saudi Arabia.  It has traveled beyond the Middle East in isolated cases and so far hasn’t caused a major pandemic, but has eluded being wiped out for over two years.  Recently, the virus has made a major jump to South Korea, which significantly increases the odds the virus will go global.  To put this disease in perspective, it has a death rate on par with Ebola, but is spread more easily than Ebola.  In short, this virus concerns me more than Ebola and Ebola concerned me.  Nonetheless, the facts shouldn’t panic you, but they certainly should concern you.  If MERS mutates or is able to spread to other large cities, it could still pose a threat to your health.

Fortunately, right now there is no need for alarm.  South Korea appears to be doing an effective job at isolating cases and quarantining anyone with a possible infection.  Although it is likely more cases will appear in South Korea, the real issue is whether any cases appear outside of South Korea in places like Japan, China, Europe, or the USA.  LMS will be tracking the efforts to contain this latest outbreak and will continue to update you when/if there is further news.  As a part of our pandemic analysis, you should know that our information comes in part, directly from some of the leading experts in virology/infectious diseases at the forefront of combating the Ebola outbreaks.  These are legitimate bona fides and far exceed what most could get even from the CDC.  In short, like our Ebola coverage, we will be bringing you vetted, grounded, expert analysis that is not motivated by hype or hysteria. Read more

Critical Drug Shortages Begin: Obamacare’s damage is just beginning

What have been the outcomes in every single country where health care has been nationalized?  Higher costs, lower quality care, drug and doctor shortages, long waits, and no privacy have all been the natural outcomes.  Predictably, these problems have now begun to appear in the US.  You already know that the costs of your premiums have skyrocketed, but what you may not have realized is that hospitals all across the nation are experiencing critical drug shortages.  What may shock you more is that the drugs in short supply are some of the most widely used and critically needed to treat patients.

At any given time there is always going to be some drug out of the millions produced that is experiencing some time of shortage issue, but when the shortages begin affecting critical drugs used every day by millions we need to take note.  Most recently, saline has been in extremely short supply.  In fact the shortage is now so bad the US has to import saline from Russia.  For those that don’t know what saline it, it is sodium chloride (salt water) PH balanced to provide hydration for the body.  You will probably recognize it as they typical “IV” bag.  Further, it is critical for the intravenous administration of a huge variety of drugs to include anesthesia.  Without saline patients will die.  As one of the most commonly used items in hospitals, its shortage should be sounding alarm bells.  http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm382255.htm Read more

Product Review – Briotech HOCL Topical Skin Solution

Hours spent on rifle and pistol ranges leads to occasional cuts, scrapes, and other accidents.  Most of us handle these issues with small bandages and move on, sometimes that’s not enough.  Enter Briotech, a small business with a big impact based in Washington.  In short, Briotech makes a product that is similar to a bottled  immune system.  Specifically, they produce hypochlorous acid (HOCL) based products for personal and commercial uses.  The beauty of HOCL is that our bodies use it to fight off harmful bacteria, spores, and viruses.  Why does this matter to us?  If you are reading this then you are likely not a dandy and probably get out and work with your hands in one way or another.  Hands on work leads to minor injuries where the application of some Briotech HOCL can lead to a well healed laceration instead of a nasty infection. Read more

Gun Owners: Critical knowledge to protect yourself from gun confiscation

We Will Not Be Disarmed

We Will Not Be Disarmed

If you own a short-barreled rifle (SBR) or other controlled device such as a suppressor or have any registered firearm, this article has critical information for you.  As you should be well aware, more and more states are beginning to confiscate firearms for the smallest of infractions.  In fact, one may only need to say the wrong thing during a doctor’s visit or have you child play with a water pistol in public to trigger the police visiting your house with a warrant to confiscate your firearms.  Furthermore, if you own an SBR or Class III firearm/component, you can be inspected at any time.  To protect yourself and your firearms, every gun owner should follow the practices listed below.  Read more

HOCL: Secret chemical the military is buying right now for Ebola decontamination

Decon Shower

Decon Shower

The public is being provided very little information regarding the military’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  If large numbers of Americans become infected with Ebola, it will be critical to know what works and doesn’t work to protect and decontaminate yourself from Ebola.  As such, one of the most critical pieces of information to know is what the US military is currently using as a decontamination agent for Ebola.  The public may know about bleach and UV decontamination, but are being told nothing about the military’s latest frontline chemical agent against Ebola.  The Department of Defense (DoD) is currently buying this chemical by the tanker.  In fact, the DoD has essentially bought up the world’s market of this highly effective chemical and yet, you have probably never heard of HOCL. If you haven’t heard of HOCL, you need to.  Read more

Doctor in New York City Tests Positive for Ebola

 

A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the Ebola virus Thursday, becoming the city’s first diagnosed case.

The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center on Thursday and placed in isolation while health care workers spread out across the city to trace anyone he might have come into contact with in recent days. A further test will be conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the initial test.

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/nyregion/craig-spencer-is-tested-for-ebola-virus-at-bellevue-hospital-in-new-york-city.html

 

The Real Threat from Ebola is Economic Vapor Lock and Collapse

Liberian Military Seal Slums to Prevent Spread of Ebola_ Source: NBC News

Liberian Military Seal Slums to Prevent Spread of Ebola_ Source: NBC News

Outside of three West African nations, which are being ravaged by Ebola, the health threat from Ebola still remains small.  Am I dismissing the risk of further spread? No.  Am I dismissing the fact the numbers infected are still exponentially increasing? No.  Am I even claiming that Ebola won’t return to the US and spread globally?  No.  What I am saying is that for those of us in the US, the biggest danger Ebola poses to the masses in the near term is economic.  In fact, if you want to best prepare for an Ebola pandemic, you should prepare for an economic collapse, which will affect you long before you run a real risk of infection. Read more

An Inside Look at the “Ebola” Gay

 

The Ebola Gay...our modern day doomsday plane.

The Ebola Gay…our modern day doomsday plane.

Compliments of Zerohedge.com we get a look inside the aircraft I like to term the Ebola Gay.  I just wonder what the fail safe is for an unexpected cabin depressurization.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-16/peek-inside-ebola-transport-jet

Guiles Hendrik

October 16, 2014

 

 

Obama Administration is carrying out Bio-Terrorism inside the USA

Leprosy

Leprosy

A conversation with Americans that watch the news regularly would reveal they are aware and worried about terrorism and Ebola coming to the US.  Their fears are not unfounded, but profoundly biased by sensationalized coverage that has been heavily edited by those with political motives.  To illustrate this point, the threat of terrorists using a biological weapon in the US strikes fear into the heart of Americans, but outside of a small use of anthrax, this threat has never materialized.  However, what if I told you literally tens of thousands of Americans have died and millions have been sickened by a deliberate biological attack.  Wouldn’t that on-going attack generate far more fear, outrage, and a sense of urgency to act?  You would think, but it hasn’t.  In fact, as I write this post, millions of Americans have been sickened and or killed by a host of diseases that were once thought eradicated in the US.  Further, new illnesses are spreading to the US that were either non-existent in the US or extremely rare.  How could this be one should ask.  The answer is simple.  A deliberate government policy that ignores the safety and security of the American people, while undermining the nation’s sovereignty has been put in place and allowed to exist by both Republicans and Democrats vying for greater political power. Read more

Head of CDC Says It’s Time to Sound the Alarm on Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs

EAAU9868-Edit

Last Minute Survival continues to track and follow the emerging threat of anti-biotic resistant strains of bacteria.  For months now we have been monitoring this development, but it wasn’t until recently that the major media outlets have begun running the story.  Just as LMS warned in previous articles http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2013/02/27/emergence-of-extensively-drug-resistant-tuberculosis-threatens-to-turn-cities-into-deathtraps/, the danger of superbugs reaching the point of becoming untreatable will soon become a reality according to the Centers for Disease.

Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference: “It’s not often that our scientists come to me and say we have a very serious problem and we need to sound an alarm. But that’s exactly what we are doing today. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work, and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections.”   The statement is indeed ominous given the authority of the source.  Even worse, resistant bacteria “can spread the genes that destroy our last antibiotics to other bacteria, such as E. coli, and make E. coli resistant to antibiotics also,”  according to Frieden.

Based on the facts provided by the CDC, you must begin to sound the alarm bells.  The CDC’s director could not have been more frank in his statements about the dangers of resistant bacteria.  In effect, these resistant “superbugs” will soon turn once easily treatable conditions such as a sinus infection, abscessed tooth, urinary tract infection, or bronchitis into an untreatable and often fatal condition.  Many venereal diseases such as gonorrhea have already achieved near resistant status and now have the potential to become “incurable.”  Further, resistant strains of diseases such as Tuberculosis have the potential to become global menaces and wipe out literally millions of people and make living in urban, densely populated centers suicide.  This evolution in diseases has already begun to affect and kill Americans.  Soon, within our lifetimes, it will grow in seriousness to the degree that quarantine will again be necessary, mass transit will need to screen for illnesses and not terrorists, and simple infections will once again rob millions of life.

LMS analysts have spoken to various health care providers and assess the current risk as moderate within the United States.  However, if one deals regularly with individuals on “skid row” such as homeless, immigrants, or works in hospitals, the potential to acquire a resistant strain of a superbug dramatically increases.  Further, if you travel outside of the United States and have close contact with individuals in developing nations experiencing high rates of resistant bacterial diseases such as Tuberculosis, you should speak with a doctor and to take appropriate steps to protect yourself.  As the threat from resistant diseases increase, one can protect themselves by practicing good hygiene to include vigorous and regular hand washing, safe sex, and a general avoidance of high risk groups.  To provide your family the best long term protection, it may be necessary to eventually move out of any densely populated areas; especially those areas with large immigrant populations.  Note, it is not the intent of this article to spread xenophobic rhetoric, but to inform.  In respect to this, the primary breeding ground for resistant bacteria is outside of the United States.  Therefore, one of the primary vectors of these diseases entering the United States is by person to person contact and transfer.

By Guiles Hendrik

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-warns-of-rise-in-nightmare-bacteria/2013/03/05/5596b952-85cb-11e2-999e-5f8e0410cb9d_print.html

Native Survival Foods: The Pawpaw

Clump of Pawpaws Source: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/438/438-105/438-105.html#L10

Clump of Pawpaws
Source: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/438/438-105/438-105.html#L10

Today, it is hard to not hear of people talking about stockpiling food.  The media and markets are loaded with options for non-perishables and foods packaged so that they can be stored for years.  This is great and LMS fully supports those that commit to long-term storage and stockpiling of backup food supplies.  However, it is equally valuable to know what foods nature readily provides often right in your backyard.  This post looks at the little known, native, North American super-fruit known as the pawpaw.

The pawpaw is a native fruit that grows on smaller trees that are almost tropical in appearance.  The fruit weighing on average about 8 ounces looks similar to a mango from the outside with a green skin and large, dark, pumpkin like seeds on the inside.  The fruit has a custard like yellowish inside that has a taste reminiscent of a banana, mango, and pineapple and ripens between late August and early October.  The fruit is super rich in protein, anti-oxidants, and is reported to have cancer fighting qualities.  Further, the fruit produces its own insect repellent and in a concentrated form can be used to even treat resistant head lice effectively.  The tree is so well adapted, it doesn’t require the use of pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides to grow healthy unlike other non-native fruit trees such as various apple and orange trees.  However, the tree does play host to the beautiful Zebra swallowtail butterfly, whose larvae feed exclusively and harmlessly on the tree.  The trees are typically found along fertile, well-drained soil lining the banks of streams and rivers stretching from the mid-Atlantic to Michigan.

Pawpaw fruit has a rich history in America even though in recent years it has been nearly forgotten.  The pawpaws were so sought after, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are said to have grown and cultivated them on their farms.  Further, not only were they valued by Native Americans, but American history tells us that Lewis and Clark cheated starvation by surviving on the fruit during their return trip along the Missouri River to St. Louis.

By studying a bit online, one can quickly become familiar with the pawpaw and learn to identify it in the wild.  For those fortunate enough to have access to one of these bountiful fruit trees, just a few fruits in the late summer/early fall can yield a delightful and refreshing addition to your diet.  Further, they make excellent additions to fruit smoothies, yogurts, and ice cream.  The fruit puree can also be used to make a host of other items such as jams, wines, breads, and desserts.  Just remember, the pawpaw does not keep well once it ripens and must be used or frozen within three days of peak ripeness.

If you are not fortunate enough to have access to one of these trees, you can buy both the pawpaw fruit and the saplings online from a few boutique sources such as http://www.owennativefoods.com/ , which specialize in selling varieties of native super-foods such as the pawpaw in an organic and sustainable manner.  Note:  Sources such as Owen Native Foods sell the future season’s crop early (usually between December and March) so it is best to place orders far in advance of the harvest season.  Under the proper conditions, you can grow your own pawpaw trees and have a sustainable super-food industry right in your backyard.

Experimental Pawpaw Orchard Source: Blandy Experimental Farm

Experimental Pawpaw Orchard
Source: Blandy Experimental Farm

For additional information on this outstanding, but little known native fruit, visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension, which gives the following information about paw paws on its website: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/438/438-105/438-105.html

The crop is well adapted to the Eastern U.S. climate and soil conditions. Pawpaw is adapted to humid temperate zone growing conditions.  It is hardy to the USDA growing zone 5 (-20°F or -29°C), and needs at least 400 hours in annual chilling requirements (time exposed to 35° to 45°F during winter months, depending on the cultivar).  This is a low chill requirement compared to other tree fruit species (apples 800 to 1,700 hours), and once met, the trees will begin to flower early in the spring.  A long, warm season is required to mature fruit (2,600 degree days; ~160 frost-free days).  From 30 to 35 inches of rainfall is needed annually, with the majority falling in the spring and summer.  Contrary to popular belief, pawpaw performs best in full-sun exposure.  However, sunlight protection is needed in the first year in the field, as young tree shoots are sensitive to sunlight.  In an orchard setting, this is accomplished by using commercially available tree shelters.

The pawpaw is a unique/unusual fruit crop with high nutritional value and potential for both fresh and processed market uses.  As a food source, pawpaw exceeds apple, peach, and grapes in vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and food energy values.  The current and primary market for fruit is as a fresh product in farmers markets and other direct sales outlets.  Though large-scale commercial processing markets do not yet exist, the fruit’s intense flavor and aroma have significant potential in blended fruit drinks, baby food, ice cream, and as a substitute for banana in various baking recipes.  In Kentucky, various entrepreneurs are utilizing pawpaw as a local cuisine item for restaurants and in frozen custard and ice cream products.

There are valuable natural compounds in the plant, which have both anti-carcinogenic and pesticidal properties.  Aromatic compounds in the fruit have potential for use in cosmetics and home products.  Research has shown that pawpaws have a diversity of natural compounds in fruit, leaves, bark, and twigs.  One class of compounds known as annoaceous acetogenins occurs in leaves and twigs and has reported anti-tumor properties.  Currently, Purdue University has patented an extraction procedure and the development of an herbal formulation is underway by a private company.  Commercial drug manufacturers, however, have shown limited interest in the compounds.  An alkaloid, asimicin, is found in the seeds, leaves, and bark of pawpaw and is reported to have pesticidal properties.  Pawpaws are resistant to insect and disease pressure.  This may be due to asimicin and other natural defense compounds.  With proper management, organic production of pawpaw is feasible.  Aromatic constituents isolated from fruit may hold potential for marketing as well.

By Guiles Hendrik

Food Poisoning FAQs for tough times learned abroad

One thing no one wants to deal with during a survival situation is illness.  In many parts of the world today, food poisoning is one of the most common ailments afflicting countless millions annually.  Typically, the onset of symptoms occurs rapidly after ingesting spoiled or contaminated food and includes violent abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.  The symptoms usually pass within a few days, but in severe cases of being sickened by bacteria such as e-coli and salmonella, death can occur.  Further, studies now have linked even mild cases to long-term health problems such as immune system disorders, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney failure.

The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.  The 2011 estimates provide the most accurate picture yet of which foodborne bacteria, viruses, microbes (“pathogens”) are causing the most illnesses in the United States .  According to the 2011 estimates, the most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter. http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/facts.html

When traveling in less developed parts of the world, food poisoning is even more common.  Conditions in many of these countries mimic conditions one may experience in the event of a major collapse to include long-term power outage.  Compounding the problem in both the underdeveloped world and in a disaster situation, advanced medical help is not likely available.  As such, knowing how to prepare for, prevent, and treat it, as well as what not to do will be critical to a quick recovery and potentially survival.

The first thing is to dispel some common myths.  Drawing from my experiences over the last decade in impoverished and war-torn countries around the world, food borne illness will eventually afflict everyone given enough time.  No matter “how tough” you think your stomach is, I guarantee, there is a stomach bug out there meaner with your number.  Further, you never really seem to be able to become “immune” to getting sick.  The bottom line is if you eat bad food, you will get deathly ill for most likely at least 24 hours and during that time wish you were dead.  Anyone that has experienced true food poisoning knows this first hand.  Thus, the first rule is better safe than sorry.  When in doubt about food, just ask yourself; is it really worth violently throwing up while simultaneously having uncontrollable diarrhea for 24+ hours?

Next, although foods like seafood and mayonnaise can go horribly bad very fast and certainly are infamous for making people very sick, they are not the only culprits.  In fact, anything you put in your mouth that is contaminated can cause severe illness.  This includes not just meats and poultry, but vegetables and even the water you drink.  Further, if you are one of those people that like to put your fingers in your mouth, pick your teeth, or some other nasty habit, don’t.  Your hands will pick up some of the worst of the worst stomach bugs and if you put them in your mouth you are likely to get sick.

Another myth is that people often think that as long as they don’t swallow “bad” food they will be okay.  False.  Again, going back to the, “if you think it is bad it isn’t worth it,” motto.  Once the bacteria or parasite is introduced to your mouth and digestive track, it can make its way via your saliva into your digestive track and make you very ill as it grows and multiplies.

Another myth is that in cases of food poisoning you immediately get ill.  That is indeed the case in some circumstances, but in many others, it can take on average 24-48 hours as the pathogen embeds in your digestive track, multiplies, and releases toxins into your blood stream.

All bottled water is good.  Be very aware that not all bottled water is the same.  In fact, the U.S. State Department tested all of the major brands of bottled water in Pakistan, which includes U.S. name brands, and found only TWO in the entire country met minimal safe drinking standards.  In fact, water table in some countries is so contaminated that the only water that is suitable for drinking is water that has been distilled or purified through a mix of processes that include adding chemicals, exposing it to UV light, filtering it, and reverse osmosis treatments.

I especially like the myth that if you drink hard liquor it will kill any potential stomach bugs.  Although, anecdotally, I have seen some cases where there may be some truth to parasites such as worms that are adversely affected by alcohol and spicy foods, it doesn’t protect you.  In fact, heavy drinking probably means you are more likely to eat some nasty stuff from a street vendor at a late hour and then not only be deathly ill, but also add a hangover and dehydration to the mix.  Poor choice.

Okay, so besides knowing what doesn’t work, know what does work.  Wash your hands with hot soap and water as if you have an obsessive compulsive disorder.  Use alcohol based hand sanitizer before you eat any meal or touch food.  Always wash anything that was used to prepare raw food with hot soapy water or even boil it.  Before eating “fresh” fruits and vegetables grown in local soil, soak and or scrub them lightly in a weak solution of bleach and water.  Cook everything “well done.”  Yes, raw eggs and bleeding steak may be macho, but you are not going to be tough when you are balled up in the fetal position on the ground.  Drink only purified or water bottled by a reputable dealer from a known source.  Finally, when in doubt, don’t eat it.

Now, as I mentioned before, I don’t care how careful you are, if you spend enough time in underdeveloped places, you are going to get sick.  That is a fact, 100% true, can’t get around it.  It is just a matter of how often, how bad, and what type of illness.  Celebrate if you only are sickened by short duration treatable and or curable diseases and illnesses.  So, if you have access to pharmaceuticals, stocking up on the following drugs will go a long way to take the edge off of a bad case of food poisoning.  The following is a baseline treatment for an average, healthy adult, with no allergies.  Always consult a doctor before taking any medications.

  • Phenergan in 25 mg tablets taken 1 every 6 hours will alleviate nausea and vomiting (*cease taking once symptoms subside)
  • Azithromycin in 500 mg tablets taken 1 a day for 3 days to kill the bacterial infection (*note, it is critical to complete the full cycle of antibiotics once begun)
  • Tramadol in 50 mg tablets taken once or twice every 6 hours for pain (*Tramadol is a controlled pain reliever)
  • Bentyl in 20 mg tablets taken 1 every 6 hours to alleviate serve stomach cramping
  • Oral Rehydration Salts mixed with the proper ratio of water (usually one packet for a liter or quart).  Make sure you stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the biggest problems in cases of severe food poisoning and only makes your situation worse.  Drink as much fluid as you can keep down (*note, ORS tastes nasty, but IS what you need as it is properly formulated to not cause increased cramping, bowel irritation, and diarrhea)
  • Imodium tablets for diarrhea taken as needed (*note, don’t take anti-diarrhea tablets right away so as to let your system cleanse itself…only take if diarrhea persists after the second day)

At the end of the day though, if you could only have two of the above, get the Azithromycin to kill the bacteria and ORS to keep from dehydrating.  Phenergan may be a tie for second place if you can’t keep anything down and certainly makes you feel much better.

Finally, a few short lines on what not to do.  Don’t immediately run to take anti-diarrheal medicine.  Let your body cleanse itself.  Only use anti-diarrheal medication if symptoms persist for more than a day and dehydration is becoming a factor.  Do not allow yourself to become dehydrated.  With that said, use ORS for rehydration.  If none are available, attempt to find Pedialyte used for infant rehydration.  If that is unavailable, you can mix a very weak mixture of Gatorade and water or add a bit of salt and sugar to water.  If you mix full strength, such as in the case of Gatorade or drink pure water, it is difficult for your bowels to absorb and will cause increased cramping and possibly worsen the situation.  In fact, if you consume a mixture of Gatorade or some other electrolyte replacement that is too concentrated, it can actually pull water from circulation into the bowels and cause greater dehydration.  Nonetheless, if nothing else is available, it would still be better to plain drink water than dehydrate.  On a final note, be cautious about misdiagnosis.  Be very careful not to confuse the symptoms of food poisoning or stomach flu with those of more serious situations such as a ruptured appendix, which will cause death if the patient isn’t able to undergo surgery within a short period of time.  The most common way of assessing this is to locate where the pain is localized and if it is off to one side or in the lower abdomen.  Normally, cramping from food poisoning comes in waves and is centrally located in the abdominal region.  Symptoms of a life threatening appendix rupture are persistent, acute, and the abdomen can become inflamed and very painful to the touch beyond the central region of the abdomen.