This week the panel of Mannie Barling, Ashley F. Brooks, and Simon Barrett were joined by guest Heather Matthews. Heather Matthews is in a unique position to offer commentary on health and nutrition in our modern world. Her educational background and indeed her early career centered around family counseling. This is an area much misunderstood by the general public. The key to effective counseling is the ability to listen. Only when you understand the peoples personal perspectives can you offer advice on the path forward.

Heather has taken her skill set into the world of health, fitness and nutrition.

It was an interesting program. Heather Matthews has some feelings about the less than healthy diets that many people consume.

For several months Mannie, Ashley and I have had a running conversation over the cost, availability and practicality of the average family moving to an organic food diet. In what seems reverse logic, it appears to be cheaper and easier to become an organic consumer in the large cities, than for rural dwellers.

Heather Matthews in many ways confirmed my position. She lives in a small community in North Carolina and her shopping opportunities are two chain supermarkets, and Walmart! She explained that a regular part of her program was to spend time shopping with a client, and teach them the art of reading labels. Due to consumer pressure an increasing number of large stores including Walmart are now carrying an ever increasing variety of organic products. But the consumer needs to be able to decipher labels!

It sounds simple enough? Anyone can read a label? Not so! It is far from simple. Deception is everywhere. Labels list sugar content, but when is sugar not sugar? One great example is HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). The recent ‘Sugar Is Sugar’ TV ads sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association tell us that ‘cane sugar, corn sugar, its all the same’. If this is true, why not place HFCS in the sugar content on a product label?

MSG is another ingedient that lurks in products, but is rarely named. MSG has more aliases than the most hardened con-man. Spotting MSG in a label is rather like playing the popular 90’s children’s game of ‘Where Is Waldo’.

If you missed our live broadcast, you can listen to the recording here.

Simon Barrett

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks, R.N., are the authors of award winning books – Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS – How to Eliminate Pain and Extend your Life (Books and Authors 2010 Best Books in the Health, Diet & Reference Categories) and Mannie’s Diet and Enzyme Formula – A Change of Lifestyle Diet Designed for Everyone (Blogger News Net 2010 Best Health And Nutrition Book Award winner) available at, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other booksellers around the world.

The authors’ latest book, It’s Not Your Fault – Weight Gain, Obesity and Food Addiction is now available at, Amazon and booksellers everywhere.

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